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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

TrucKABATAAN to address teen pregnancy

SLT 1266 May 25-31, 2024

The United Nations and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) turned over two mobile health facilities to give free medical services to adolescents in Southern Leyte and Samar, in response to its commitment to help curb teen pregnancies in these two provinces, which is part of the Joint Programme on Accelerating the Reduction of Adolescent Pregnancy in Southern Leyte and Samar, Philippines. It is a collaborative effort by the Korean Government through KOICA, the Philippine Government, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization.

The mobile clinics, called TrucKABATAAN,contain air-conditioned adolescent-friendly rooms, including a medical bed, where the teens can access services with confidentiality, audio-visual system for information sessions, laboratory equipment and supplies for basic diagnostic tests such as complete blood count, blood typing, urinalysis and stool examination, screening for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis B; solar panel for power during emergencies or when in off-grid areas; and satellite Internet connectivity.

The local government is to provide a driver, administrative staff, and a medical team which will travel with the mobile clinics. They will provide a holistic healthcare: physical, mental, sexual/reproductive, and nutritional needs of adolescents, and health knowledge “All adolescents have the right to good health and well-being. Investing in adolescents’ health builds strong economies,” said UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.

Southern Leyte’s 2019 provincial teenage pregnancy monitoring data showed that there were a total of 383 pregnant women with age ranging from 10 to 19 years old. As reported, the highest incident came from Sogod with 68 pregnancies; Maasin with 62; Saint Bernard and San Juan with 42 each; Hinunangan with 41; Malitbog, 26; San Francisco, 21; Hinundayan, 19; Libagon, 15; Liloan, 13; Pintuyan, 10; San Ricardo, 7; and Limasawa and Silago with 4 each.

“Adolescent mothers face higher risks of medical complications during pregnancy and childbirth compared to adult women. Adolescent pregnancy can result in anemia, sexually transmitted infections, unsafe abortions, postpartum hemorrhage, and mental health disorders. It can also exacerbate maternal undernutrition, resulting in low-birth-weight infants and childhood stunting. (GMR) (Photo by: Vice Governor Milai Mercado)

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