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Ferguson calls for mandatory reintegration of teen moms

Published:Wednesday | October 30, 2013 | 6:02 PM

Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer



Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson is calling for legislative changes to make it mandatory to permit the reintegration of teenage mothers into the formal school system.




Ferguson says early child bearing does not have to result in the end of a girl's prospects for a good education.



He says it is in continuing her education that a teenage mother would be able to secure the economic well-being for herself and her child.



The health minister was speaking at today’s launch of the United Nations Population Fund's State of World Population Report 2013.



The theme of this year's report was 'Motherhood in Childhood: facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy'.



Ferguson noted that teenage pregnancy remains a challenge globally and Jamaica is no exception.



He said schools must provide the support needed for girls to continue their education after giving birth.



Information from the National Family Planning Board/Sexual Reproductive Health Authority indicates that in Jamaica, 40 per cent of women have been pregnant before the age of 20 at least once, and 85 per cent of these pregnancies are unplanned.



And according to the World Health Organisation, across the globe about 16 million girls aged 15-19 and two million girls under the age of 15 years give birth each year.



The WHO also notes that over 95 per cent of all adolescent births occur in low to middle income countries like Jamaica mainly among the poor and less educated populations.



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