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Teenage pregnancy increases

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THE Ministry of Social Welfare has recorded a total of 64 teenage pregnancies from the months of January to June this year.

As of April, the ministry's National Child Welfare Register recorded 57 cases of teenage pregnancies.

Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said while the ministry was working with stakeholders to raise awareness, families were also urged to play their role in addressing the issue.

"We are training family planning agents in the communities and these are the youths and women. Apart from the awareness and training programs, the accessibility to contraceptives like condoms is also provided," she said.

"The training programs also provide advice to young people that the best method of protection is abstinence until marriage.

"In June this year, the ministry had also entered into partnership with Medical Services Pacific (MSP) to strengthen the outreach of reproductive health services in Fiji.

"The 30 Women Resource Centres and 46 women centres around the country are used as an outlet to increase the reproductive health awareness for women and youths.

"Through MSP, the ministry has opened the doors of these resource centres to provide services on family planning, reproductive clinics and to ensure that a comprehensive service delivery is taken out to the rural people and they are served wherever they are based."

Dr Luveni said parents played a vital role in helping curb teenage pregnancies.

"Parents must develop the skills to help their children. Develop the skills to keep them safe. Develop the skills to build character.

"Strengthen their character, their decision making responsibility so that when they are faced with situations where they could get into trouble, they know how to protect themselves."

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