PopCom-6 AHD classes to reduce teen pregnancy

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ILOILO CITY - The Commission on Population (PopCom) - 6 spearheaded adolescent health and development (AHD) classes in various schools and local government units in Western Visayas to help promote and improve the total well-being of adolescents here.

Dubbed “Talk Tayo: Ikaw ang Bida Dito”, this program aimed at engaging adolescents in making responsible choices in life and improve their health-seeking behavior by providing them comprehensive sexuality education.

PopCom-6 Regional Director Harold Alfred Marshall said the program is a demand generation strategy with the target of inculcating responsible sexuality among the adolescent sector considering their special needs and other vulnerabilities.

“Talk Tayo: Ikaw and Bida Dito is unique to region 6,” he said.

The program is in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH)-6, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), and the local government units.

The AHD classes target adolescents aged 10 to 19 years old in order to refocus resources and efforts toward identifying and modifying risks early in life before these are ingrained as behaviors and practices later in adult life that are detrimental to health.

AHD classes have the following priority Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health topics: sexuality and gender, prevention of early sexual activity/teen pregnancy, HIV prevention, and care for the pregnant teen.

According to PopCom-6, this will enable the adolescents in the said age group to prevent early and repeated pregnancies.

Likewise, the program aims to reduce by half the adolescent birth rate specifically from 57 births among those aged 15 to 19 years old per 1,000 live births to 28.5 births by the year 2022 and to achieve zero repeated pregnancies among minors who have begun childbearing.

In Region 6, cases of teen pregnancy are at 15 percent in 2015, which is roughly four times higher than the 4 percent acceptable rate, according to DOH.

Based on the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study 4 (YAFS 4), one in every three young people in the region has experienced too early sexual activity which may have contributed to the increase in teenage fertility from 4.1 percent in 2002 to 15.1 percent in 2013. (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

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