Region XI has highest adolescent birth rate

Health Agencies are alarmed with the rise in teenage pregnancy in the region.

Dr. Raquel Montejo, DOH-XI Family Cluster Head, cited that the Davao Region has the highest number of teenage pregnancy in the country.

In the 2016 survey among adolescents age 10 to 19, the region had 15,357 or 16% adolescent birth rate with the province of Davao Del Sur coming on top. In 2017, this increased further to 16,279, with Davao Occidental still the top province with the most number of cases.

Jeff Fuentes, city population chief at the City Health Office, pointed out that one of the contributing factors is the society’s notion on sexuality issues as a taboo.

Fuentes further reiterated that the Philippine culture, which frowns upon contraceptives, leads to non-access of adolescents to services provided by the health department.

Early sexual activities increase risks of men and women with STDs and HIVs. However, there is still a notably low number of Filipinos who consult with doctors due to fear of judgment from society.

While the region has increasing numbers of teenage pregnancy, maternal morbidity rate has dropped. However, DOH-11 still urges pregnant teenagers to have prenatal visits to continue this trend.

The Commission on Population encouraged parents to properly deal with their children to avoid teenage pregnancy.

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