Adolescents in specific communities throughout the 10 Administrative Regions are being targeted as the Ministry of Social Protection rolls out its evidence-based, Teen Prevention Pregnancy and Empowerment initiative.
The programme is being executed by the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisation including the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association and Youth Choice.
Youths between ages 15 to 19 will be educated on the disadvantages of teenage pregnancy and early sexual activities.
Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Ann Greene, says that the growing number of teenage mothers in Guyana is alarming and this situation will be addressed through the Teen Prevention Pregnancy and Empowerment initiative.
“There is a high pregnancy rate with early teen and it’s one of concern for us because these are very young girls that should still be in school and they are not even of the age of sexual consent according to the law, but yet they are pregnant so there is motherhood in childhood and it’s a serious concern,” Green told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
The young people will also be educated on sexual and reproductive health. Green explained that every teenage girl that is pregnant is at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), since they were having unprotected sex.
Greene said that the programme will be carried out over a one year period, after which CPA will review the outcome to determine its effectiveness. “We want to follow to see the outcome. In fact, we want to see if they will put off early sexual activities or if in fact you must have sex, use a condom,” she noted.
The State of the World Population 2013 Report produced by the UN Population Fund revealed that, with 97 out of every 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 giving birth, Guyana has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean. (GINA)