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GAD Ilocos Norte to increase adolescent health programs

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte (PIA) – The Gender and Development (GAD) Office of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) is conducting more adolescent health fora in different high schools in the province following the increased number of teenage pregnancy cases in the province this year.

Based on the latest report from GAD Office, this May, the total cases of teen pregnancies in Ilocos Norte has reached 107, with the youngest case a 14-year-old.

According to Janet Lucia London, Population Development Officer III and focal person of GAD Ilocos Norte, there are currently seven cases of pregnant 14-year-olds.

In an effort to decrease these cases, London said they will be conducting more educational fora and seminars to different high schools in the province to teach students on safe sex, sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention, and mental health risks of early pregnancies.

“Kasama namin sa forums ang isang psychological first aider from Speak Up I’m Here mental health office at ilang members ng Philippine Obstetrician and Gynecology Society- Ilocos Norte Chapter para mag-discuss ng mga importanteng topics tungkol sa adolescent health and wellbeing,” she said.

Last May 23, they started their series of Adolescent Health Forum in the town of Sarrat, specifically in Sarrat National High School and Santa Rosa National High School.

This June 2, the team will also conduct the forum in the municipality of Paoay.

According to London, they are currently coordinating with other local government units in the province to schedule this forum in their high schools.

London also said to prevent more cases, parents also need to get involved in guiding and teaching their children when it comes to adolescent health and safe sex.

“As parents, we need to pay attention to our kids, lalo dahil maraming influences na pwede nilang pa pick-up sa ibang tao, sa mga kaibigan o classmates nila, pati na rin online. Bantayan natin ang mga bata,” London advised.

The GAD focal also reiterated the importance of decreasing teenage pregnancy cases to avoid maternal and infant fatalities during labor. (JCR/MJTAB/EJFG, PIA Ilocos Norte)

Ms. Janet Lucia London, focal person of GAD Ilocos Norte office, on the line through a phone-patch interview during an episode of the Danggay iti Panagdur-as radio program to discuss the increasing teen pregnancy cases in the province. (EJFG)

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Emma Joyce Guillermo

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