Teenagers in South Africa have been encouraged to exercise
their right to search for accurate information about contraception to
prevent unplanned pregnancies.
This comes on the eve of World Contraception Day, which is
celebrated by 70 countries, including South Africa, on 26 September.
Contraception prevents 188 million unplanned pregnancies
worldwide annually, which results in 112 million fewer abortions and fewer
This worldwide campaign centres on a vision for a world where every pregnancy
Launched in 2007, the day is held to improve awareness of contraception to enable
young people to make informed choices regarding their sexual and reproductive
The campaign aims to provide credible information on the
prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) – because as much as
unwanted pregnancies are widespread, so is the increased rate of preventable
The scale of the problem
Each year, up to 15
million females aged 15 – 19 give birth. In this age group, pregnancy related
deaths are the leading cause of mortality for young women.
Worldwide, more than 41% of the 208
million pregnancies that occur each year are unplanned.
Unplanned pregnancies constitute a global problem
associated with substantial costs to health and social services and emotional
distress to women, their families and society.
Each year, there are 1.1 million fewer new-born deaths and
150 000 fewer maternal deaths.
If unmet need for contraception was fully satisfied, 53
million more unplanned pregnancies could be prevented every year.
Local and international support for worldwide contraception:
World Contraception Day in South Africa is supported by
Bayer Healthcare. The company has a strong background in women’s health and the
company shares the vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted.
WCD is supported globally by a coalition of 11
international NGOs and scientific and medical societies with an interest in
What resources are available?
www.yourlifenow.co.za: a website aimed at educating teenagers and their parents about sexual health
and contraception. Fun and funky, this website has been developed to provide a
platform for teenagers and their parents to find information.
Press release from Bayer