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Curb teen pregnancies

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, July 17, 2014

ACCESS to contraceptive for the young could result in curbing teenage pregnancies and it is an issue that needs serious attention, says UN Population Fund Pacific director Dr Laurent Zessler .

"UNFPA has seen too many young girls, the level of teenage pregnancies is too high in some countries. We feel it's important they have access to contraceptives and access to education," said Dr Zessler.

"Fiji is working very actively.

"The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, they are working very hard with their family life education.

"The Ministry of Health is providing access to contraceptives.

"We see Fiji is taking this issue very seriously and we will continue to collaborate with the Fiji Government.

"The age of the first pregnancy could be delayed. We have seen young Fiji women that are pregnant at an early age.

"While the issues are being tackled, we see in remote islands and rural areas early age of pregnancy, this should be tackled.

"This comes down to access to contraceptives. There is discussion among religious groups whether this is in accordance to the religion and culture."

Dr Zessler said Fiji was moving in a positive direction to curb teenage pregnancy.

"We are also pleased with the Social Welfare Ministry's women centres.

"These centres where women gather, especially young women and talk about how they can plan their families.

"I think what women want is to be pregnant by choice and not by chance," said Dr Zessler.

"Definitely young women, teenagers should not be pregnant at an early age. There is negative consequences their educational future, future of their income and also on their health," he added.

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