Health authorities raise alarm on increased teen pregnancies, STIs

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Health authorities raise alarm on increased teen pregnancies, STIs

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City health authorities have agreed on naming health challenges that could make or unmake Tagbilaran as a new economic growth center as envisioned by the Cities Development Initiatives Project.

Tagbilaran City Health Task Group for the CDI, a foreign-funded Cities Development Initiative (CDI) has identified early teen pregnancy and increasing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as causes for concern if the city is indeed into the economic growth rail.

At the second Health Working Group Meeting Friday at the Soledad Suites, health sector working group members led by City Health Officer Dr. Apollo John Bernaldez, doctors at the City Health Office, Department of Health, partner health practitioners, non government organizations and academe sector representatives validate the two as key development challenges that the city needs to address.

City health authorities in fact named a consistent rising trend in adolescent pregnancy in Manga District, which apparently has caused enough alarm to raise the topic.

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Elsewhere however, the problem may be more pronounced, considering the natural tendency of closed Boholano families to just clam it up and hide unwanted pregnancies.

Leonita R. Relamida, PHN II, City Population Officer designate and Family Planning Coordinator, who keeps track and monitors the figures, noted the spike in early pregnancies in the last two years.

With what she found out, she pushed the button to get local attention and hopefully present a level-headed program that would help the youngsters into informed decision before committing to any life changing plunge.

Relamida also hopes that parents,  who exercise the responsibility of making sure their kids are comfortably settled, would double up on the task, while the community would be back in its ideal role as string support for identity crisis-laden kids.

At the meeting, task group members also agreed that Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RP/RH) dissemination activities should be given to key officials to generate policy support. The participants also think that school based parents groups can re-strengthen parents and kid’s ties and in the process, maximize the involvement of Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) in keeping grips with school teens.

Apart from early pregnancies, authorities at the City Health Office also see a rise in sexuallt transmitted infections in Tagbilaran.

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For these two, authorities want to double up on information education sorties with documentaries and film showings, instead of  the usual lectures and fora for teeners.

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Health sector representatives also see the crucial role of peers in popularizing health concepts, one that is already among the task group’s next steps.

For the STI, city health workers suggest the reorganization of Bar Owner’s Association to help encourage their affiliated commercial sex workers to submit for regular hygiene check-up while running a parallel STI HIV-AIDS orientation, even as Bohol ranks second in the region’s HIV affectation. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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