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Philippine teenage pregnancy up 65% in the last decade

Data from the National Statistics Office revealed that from 2000-2010, teenage pregnancy in the Philippines has increased by 65 percent, despite an almost 14-percent decline in teenage marriage in the same period. The increase was most notable among girls aged 15 to 19, among which live births rose 38 percent from 2006 to 2011. Researchers from the Family Health Survey disclosed that the primary reasons for teenage pregnancy are insufficient access to information about sexual health and reproductive health services specifically targeted at teens. Teenage pregnancy also puts young mothers at risk of health complications because of poor nutrition and their age, according to Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST). The most significant risk in this age group is undernutrition, as 36 percent of pregnant women below 20 are undernourished, compared with 23 percent for older mothers. This also puts their babies at risk due to low birth weight, short lactation time, and premature birth. To address access to both information and services, Filipinay provided free reproductive health and family planning consultations at select LRT stations nationwide in March. The advocacy is part of DKT Reproductive Health Inc., the country’s leading provider of reproductive health and family planning products.
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