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With the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the region,Wholesale Authentic NFL Jerseys, it is high time that Guyana embraces comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) education, Marianne Flach, UNICEF Country Representative has said.And sex education might soon make its way to schools and informal settings through work between United Nations’ agencies and Guyana’s Education Ministry.Flach made her call during the recent Annual General Meeting of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA).GRPA is a local non-governmental organization, which focuses heavily on promoting SRH education.During her remarks, Flach said that teenage pregnancy is an extremely important issue for the UN and its agencies. Particularly in Guyana,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, she said, reducing teenage pregnancy was a focus area.“Teenage pregnancy is a critical issue affecting our young girls and we have heard the stories. Teen mothers give birth to at least one-fifth of all the babies born in Guyana and studies show that children are becoming sexually active at very young ages,” Flach said.UNICEF Country Representative, Marianna FlachAccording to the UNICEF Rep, research conducted in Guyana in 2014 showed that 15 percent of adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 have begun childbearing.  Furthermore,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, she said, the research showed that 12 percent of girls have had sex before age 15 while 62 percent of adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 have “unmet” contraception needs. She added that these trends are similar throughout the Caribbean and stressed that this reality must change.Flach emphasised that the lack of age-appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health education has been a hindrance and this area needed to be addressed.According to her, research showed that teen mothers who had attended the Obstetrics Clinic at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) were uniformed about SRH, including contraceptives.“This puts them at significant risk of repeat and unattended pregnancies and STIs [Sexually Transmitted Infections]. The absence of age-appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health education, including sexuality education, for in and out of school adolescents, leaves teens making uninformed or misinformed and oftentimes risky decisions.”According to Flach, UNICEF is currently supporting programmes with the Education Ministry to ensure that all adolescents have access to age-appropriate gender and SRH and sexuality education at all levels of the education system. She said too that UNICEF is advocating support for informal education modalities for those adolescents who are out of school.Furthermore, she shared that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has also engaged the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) to allow Educators to become better trained to discuss SRH issues with students. She noted that Guyana already has a number of “youth friendly” spaces and these, she said, were commendable and needed to be increased.“We advocate for all adolescents in Guyana to have access to age-appropriate, accurate information as well as quality Sexual and Reproductive Health services. It’s also critical that these health services can be accessed without judgment or discrimination.”Meanwhile, Flach stressed that girls are more likely to experience unwanted pregnancies due to factors such as social exclusion, poverty, marginalisation, and gender inequality. She added that oftentimes they are unable to fully enjoy or exercise their basic human rights because the access to healthcare,Cheap China Jerseys, schooling,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, information services and economic opportunities is limited.Flach further said that most teen pregnancies result in girls dropping out of school, which in turn puts them at a disadvantage and leaves them vulnerable.“Also, a young girl who becomes pregnant below the age of 16 is considered at high risk, which means she can develop complications during pregnancy. This increases the chances of disabilities and death for her and her baby because her body is not fully developed for pregnancy and childbirth.” She added that one must also remember that the age of consent in Guyana is 16-years-old.“We cannot choose to ignore teen pregnancy or confine it to a social, economic or cultural issue. We must also avoid blaming young mothers and instead look for ways to ensure that they get the support they need to complete their education and ensure that they and their babies can live healthy lives,” she stressed. She added that addressing the issue of adolescent pregnancy will contribute to the improvement of maternal and child health in Guyana as well as an increase in the number of females completing their education.According to UNFPA’s 2013 State of the World Population Report, Guyana has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the Caribbean and South America. The report stated that Guyana’s rate for teen mothers is at 97 per 1,000 adolescent girls. Guyana came second to the Dominican Republic, which had a rate of 98 per 1,000 adolescent girls.
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