TACLOBAN CITY— Eastern Visayas, for once, is no longer among the regions in the country with high cases of teenage pregnancy. This was disclosed by Elnora Pulma, regional director of the Commission on Population(Popcom) who was quick to say that their interventions in addressing the problem now appears to be working.
Based on the Young Adults Fertility Survey conducted in 2012, the region was no longer included among the top ten regions in the country with high prevalence of teenage pregnancy.
Pulma said that partly their interventions in addressing the increasing teenage pregnancy in the region had contributed to the decline on cases of teenage pregnancy in the region.
“To certain extent, our interventions had helped to address the high fertility rate of the teens in the region,” Pulma said. However, Pulma disclosed that even if Region 8 is no longer included in the top 10 ranking based on the latest Young Adults Fertility Survey, the absolute value of teenage pregnancy is still increasing.
She revealed that during health fare, evidence of high teenage pregnancy in the region can be observed which causes high maternal and infant mortality rate. “The younger a teenager gets pregnant the higher is the risk since the uterus is still not ready for the baby, the mother and the baby can die” Pulma added. This is one of the reasons why the City Population Office of Tacloban also includes the risky consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior in their education and raising awareness activities. The said population office continuously conducts classes and workshops to raise awareness about irresponsible decisions and risky behaviors particularly teenage sexuality that leads to teenage pregnancy. Since the study shows that youth are more open to their friends than to their parents, the City Population Office established youth groups in various places in the region such as Youth for Human Ecological Security (YES group) and the Adolescent Health group called Sons and Daughter Encounter Youth Group in the province of Leyte, all were trained to be peer councilors.
Through Save the Children funded by United Nations Family Population Fund, Popcom acquired Youth Friendly Spaces (YFS) in Tacloban,Dulag, Tolosa, Mayorga, Tanuan and Palo, all in Leyte. (JESLY MARVIE GASPAY,LNU Intern)