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28 August 2009

Drop in teen pregnancy in SA

Birth rates amongst 15 to 19-year-olds declined in all population groups between 1996 to 2001, a study on teenage pregnancies in South Africa revealed.

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Birth rates amongst 15 to 19-year-olds declined in all population groups between 1996 to 2001, a study revealed.

The largest decline was amongst whites, with blacks having highest recorded figures.

The study on teenage pregnancies in South Africa, focusing on school going learners was conducted this years by the Human Science Research Council on behalf of the department of education.

The study, which was earlier welcomed by Education Minister Angie Motshekga, at a summit in Johannesburg, also indicated that overall, teenage pregnancies have decreased.

This has been attributed to increased access to information on reproductive health rights and improved contraception use.

"The results are comforting...the fact is, this doesn't mean it's no longer a problem. Teenage pregnancy is a reality, this concerns all of us and we need to find appropriate mechanisms and intervention strategies to deal with this reality," said Motshekga.

Highest figures in EC, Limpopo and KZN
The study identified that teenage pregnancies were more prevalent in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

Motshekga said this necessitates the "target intervention" in these areas, adding that schools in poor communities which were under resourced were more at risk.

"The high prevalence of pregnancies occur in dysfunctional schools. When a school is dysfunctional it falls apart," she said.

She said her department will develop a comprehensive strategy towards addressing learner pregnancies in South Africa. – (Sapa, August 2009)

Read more:
TV sex tied to teen pregnancy
Teen pregancy ups fat risk

 
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