Teen pregnancies worry officials

NASSAU — An average of 700 teenage girls are impregnanted each year in The Bahamas with about 20 per cent of them eventually becoming pregnant again while still in their teens, according to PACE‚Foundation President Sonia Brown.

“Over the past 10 years, there has been a two per cent drop in teen pregnancies,” Brown said yesterday.

“But the numbers are too high for anybody to feel happy about it because we are still talking about 600 to 700 persons who are under 19 having children and that’s too much.

“They are ill-equipped too most of the time. When they enter the job market, they need assistance in terms of helping take care of their baby. Sometimes they are also ill-equipped mentally in terms of, they don’t have the maturity level to be parents because they are just kids themselves.”

Brown said PACE‚enrolls about 100 to 150 pregnant teens per year.

The program provides education and support to teen mothers and promotes awareness of policies to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults.

Brown said the youngest girl she’s seen pregnant was just nine years old.

“That is not a common occurrence; it’s more of an anomaly,” she added.

“The average age is closer to 14, 15 when the girls get pregnant.”

The programme will hold a fund-raising ball at Sandals Resort tonight to raise money to help with the students’ education.

The event, which is the biggest fund-raising of the year for PACE, has helped the programme tremendously in the past, Brown said. (Nassau Guardian)

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