08 June 2009

Birth on YouTube 'scare tactics'

Screaming in agony, a schoolgirl lies on a field surrounded by her peers as a blood splattered friend helps her deliver a baby. This YouTube video has attracted a lot of attention.


Screeching in agony, a schoolgirl lies on a field surrounded by her school peers as a blood splattered friend helps her deliver a baby. This is the latest video to hit YouTube and has so far attracted over 500 000 hits.

Shot in the style of a cell phone video, it’s actually an advert made by Leicester NHS Trust in an apparent attempt to reignite awareness about teen pregnancies.

British tabloid The Sun, quoted the trust as saying that they made the video since "kids said traditional anti-pregnancy campaigns had little effect".

According to the SA Demographic and Health Survey of 2003, 12% of women aged 15-19 are mothers or pregnant with a child. Limpopo leads in the teenage-mother stakes (17%), followed by the Northern Cape (15%) and the Free State (15%), with KwaZulu Natal the lowest with 2%.

However, for many South African teenage girls, an unwanted pregnancy is a secondary worry: a study released in March reported that a shocking 15% of South African school children have been forced to have sex. Even more worryingly, a report released this month showed that one child is raped every three minutes in South Africa.

And in March a deeply disturbing report released by the SA Human Rights Commission showed that sexual assault, “corrective rape”, gangsterism and suicide is on the increase.

So would a video of this nature work in the South African situation? We'd like to hear your thoughts on this topic.

(Amy Henderson, Health24, June 2009)

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


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