22 Apr 2014

Teenage pregnancies in Pacific remain high - UNPFA

4:04 am on 22 April 2014

The United Nations says while the number of teenage pregnancies in most Pacific nations has declined, there is a need for more sex education.

A UN Population Fund report says there is also a need for better health services for youths.

Mary Baines reports.

"The report says teenage pregnancy in the Marshall Islands is the highest in the region, with 85 in every 1,000 teenage women becoming pregnant. It says rates of teenage pregnancies in Nauru, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are also high - with those nations' teenage pregnancy rates between 6 to 8 percent. The report says teenage women face increased risks during pregnancy and childbirth because they have less information and access to care. It says young mothers have a higher risk of dying during childbirth, and children of young mothers have higher levels of morbidity and mortality. The UNFP says teenagers need more access to sex education, contraception and family planning."