“Nadagdagan na naman ang buntis sa amin—at pabata na nang pabata, ma’am.”
This is what some of the health leaders told us during one of our meetings with them last January. Although the supposition would only prove as an anecdotal type of evidence, the statistics seem to back up such a statement.
According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), the incidence of teenage pregnancies in the Philippines has grown by 65 percent over a 10-year period: from 126,025 in 2000 to 207,898 in 2010. This covers women aged 15 to 19. In 2006, 39 out of 1,000 live births were results of teenage pregnancies. However, in 2011, it increased to 54.
Moreover, data from the National Youth Commission (NYC) indicate that within the ASEAN region, the Philippines has the third highest teenage pregnancy rate—and it is still increasing.
Time and time again, researches have concluded that the absence of comprehensive sexuality education is one of the main reasons why the occurrence of teenage pregnancies is high. While it is important to be familiar with the figures related to teenage pregnancy, it is equally vital to understand the stories behind such numbers.
To achieve this, Kaya Natin! Movement, together with Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), has developed an education campaign aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy under its Health Leaders for Mothers (HL4M) program. HL4M has been running in Quezon City for the past two years and seeks to curb maternal and infant mortality rates in the country. One of the identified causes of maternal and infant deaths is when a girl gets pregnant at a very young age; thus, her body is not yet mature enough to handle the pregnancy.
The education campaign, aptly called #WhatTheFacts, works around the assumption that many of the youth nowadays have grown to be sexually curious and sexually active. In light of this, the campaign is more focused on providing information that will enable more young Filipinos to practice safe sex and understand its consequences, thereby, preventing more teenage pregnancies. Its inaugural activity will be a two to three-minute video-making contest that aims to employ creative and innovative uses of digital media. It was launched via social media to advance the aim of informing and influencing.
With a length of one minute, the applicants’ end goal must be a digital video providing relevant information and promoting the prevention of teenage pregnancy. Participants are required to go through a reproductive health orientation for a deeper understanding of the risks involved with teenage pregnancy.
Entries will be accepted until March 20 (Wednesday). The winning video will receive P10,000.00 while the second and third placers will receive P5,000.00 and P3,000.00 respectively. The videos will be judged based on their creativity and the information that they are able to convey to the target audience. Winners will be determined by a panel of judges and through social media votes. All winning videos will be published on Kaya Natin! social media platforms and website.
The application form, guidelines, and other contest details may be downloaded through http://bit.ly/19PEwhi or call Caroline Javier at (02) 426-6001 local 4637. Applications may be submitted through the program’s email:whatdothefactssay@gmail.
This article was also posted here.[?]