Teenage pregnancy and maternal deaths on the rise

THE Pangasinan Provincial Health Office (PHO) expressed serious alarm not only over the rising cases of teenage pregnancy in the province but of higher incidence of maternal deaths in the province.

PHO’S data shows that there were 2,873 reported cases of teenage pregnancy, most of them are aged 14 to 15 and the youngest was 10 with 3 cases.

Dr. Ana de Guzman, PHO chief attributed the rise in teenage pregnancy to the absence or lack of counseling and discussion about fertility at home and in schools.

“Education starts at home, and it’s important for parents to discuss sexual awareness and fertility with their children,” she said.

She, however, conceded that the Filipino conservatism prevents easy and relaxed discussion of sex and pregnancy among family members, particularly with young girls.

She said it’s important that the Department of Education implements its counseling program particularly for 10-15 year-old students.

Meanwhile, De Guzman also confirmed that there were 30 cases of maternal deaths in 2016, higher than the 22 cases recorded in 2015. Most the patients died due to eclampsia and with no prenatal check-up.

Because of this, PHO intensified its maternal care program through the Kalusugan Caravan of the PHO visiting remote barangays, De Guzman said. (Nora Dominguez)