CARICOM to discuss regional teen pregnancy

| 05/12/2013

(CNS): Trinidad will be hosting a conference next week focusing on the problem of teen pregnancy in the Caribbean. CARICOM officials said the purpose of the consultation is to explore the opportunities and challenges in addressing adolescent pregnancy which has been identified by the Caribbean Community as a priority issue. Organized by CARICOM and the United Nations Population Fund with support from the government of Trinidad and Tobago
It will involve various stakeholders and high level officials from the Caribbean who work in that field, will also seek to chart a course of action to educate, empower, support girls, and reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy.

According to the UNFPA State of World Population report 2013, motherhood in childhood is a huge global problem, especially in developing countries, where every year 7.3 million girls under the age of 18 give birth. In the Caribbean, despite the fall in total fertility rate, adolescent birth rates remain relatively high. Among girls aged 15 – 19 years old, the birth rate ranges from 26 to 97 per 1,000 adolescent girls. Guyana, Belize, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the Caribbean.

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General Human and Social Development Dr Douglas Slater who will be attending the consultation commented that "adolescent pregnancy and births should not be seen merely as a reproductive health issue. There are substantial economic, social and human cost attached to them and tackling this issue should be a priority in every Member State of the Community."

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