In a concerning revelation, a total of 5,107 instances of teenage pregnancies have been documented from 2018 to 2022, prompting a critical call for society to confront the pressing need for heightened awareness, education, and intervention.
The Health Ministry reports that among these cases, 98 involved girls under the age of 15, while the majority, comprising 5,009 cases, pertained to girls aged 15 to 19.
Responding to this distressing trend, the Health Ministry, in collaboration with various stakeholders, is intensifying efforts to fortify comprehensive sexuality education.
Dr. Atonio Lalabalavu, the Health Minister, says there is a need for heightened initiatives, emphasizing the expansion of their presence in schools and rural communities as a crucial strategy to address the upsurge in teenage pregnancies.
“And our role simply at the end is to do with how best we can do a safe delivery for our teenage pregnancies, together with how we talk with our other relevant ministries and probably just counseling and all. But nevertheless, it’s an issue.”
Permanent Secretary for Education, Selina Kuruleca, says that they are currently reviewing family life education to ensure its alignment with contemporary needs and priorities.
“Talking to our young boys about self-esteem, respecting the girls, and respecting each other. Because having young people get pregnant at such an early age has all sorts of issues related to it, we want to do our part, and we call on our partners to work with us in terms of trying to alleviate and minimize teenage pregnancies.”
Permanent Secretary for Education, Selina Kuruleca
Kuruleca believes that faith-based organizations play a vital role in upholding values within communities.
She adds that they are committed to mitigating and preventing teenage pregnancies in the region.