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)
TV sex tied to teen pregnancy
Teen pregancy ups fat risk