BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Data released by the Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office shows a total of 5,620 cases of teenage or childhood pregnancies in 2021, indicating an increase of 13 percent compared to that of 2020 with a 10 year old being the youngest on record.
Additionally, records show that the 15-19 year old age bracket has 5,476, while in 10-14 year old has 144.
WHY IS IT ALARMING?
Data further indicates that underaged pregnancies cause detrimental effects – both physical, economically, and mental – towards the young mother.
The study of Goonwardene and Waduge (2004) titled as the “Adverse Effects of Teenage Pregnancy” stated that teenage mothers are less educated compared to the those in the control group, which limit their job choices.
Additionally, teenage mothers are found to be at high risk to anemia, gestational hypertension, and pre-eclampsia.
In the study of Hodgkinson et. al. (2014), young mothers are prone to substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression which can be worsened by poverty.
Church, LGU efforts
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernel Tumimbang said in an interview with DNX that the second pregnancy of the mother should be prevented as it may lead to possible complications.
Commission of Family and Life in the Diocese of Bacolod head Rose Tan said that nowadays the youth are normalizing sex that should only be done between married couples.
She added that should a teenager come to be with child and do not take responsibility, she suggested that the baby be handed over to them so that they can find parents that want to adopt a kid rather than aborting an innocent child that deserves to live.
ON COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
If it takes a village to raise a child, then how is Negros Occidental going to help children with children?
With the rising cases of teenage pregnancy which can be detrimental for the young mothers in Negros Occidental, it is but natural that the LGU, religious sectors, and families work closely to prevent these cases from climbing, and that these mothers are given the counselling that they need to ensure a good future for them and their children.