Davao Region records highest teen pregnancies in 2017

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DAVAO REGION recorded the highest number of adolescents who started child bearing at age 10 to 19, based on the National Demographic Health Survey in 2017. Dr. Raquel D. Montejo, family cluster head of the Department of Health-Davao (DoH-11), said they have put this concern as a priority, noting that their evaluation indicates that parents do not have the capability to orient their children on sexual and reproductive health. “This is a priority program of DoH. We always base on statistics… we have prioritized programs based on statistics that we have,” Ms. Montejo said at a media forum earlier this week. She cited that about 16% of total pregnancies in the region are teens, with Davao Occidental recording the highest at 25%, followed by Compostela Valley with 18%. Jeff Y. Fuentes, Davao City Population chief, said the information drive on “early sexual activities” (ESA) needs to be intensified along with the delivery of health services. “I think it is really the lack of information because the culture of this country is very different … ESA is a taboo,” said Mr. Fuentes, adding that while it is not discussed, the “curiosity” of the young has to be addressed. — Maya M. Padillo