HIGH RATE OF TEEN BIRTHS IN VANUATU WORRISOME

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Women’s Affairs Department ‘alarmed and shocked’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Jan. 5, 2009) - The Director of the Women’s Affairs Department in Vanuatu says she’s alarmed and shocked that the highest percentage of women who gave birth in Port Vila last year were aged between 15 and 20.

Vila Central Hospital says a record 2,492 mothers gave birth in 2009.

The Director of women and children’s issues at the Department of Women, Doros-Day Kenneth, says the high rate of young mothers calls for more advice to be given on reproductive health and childcare.

"I must say I’m shocked that we have these figures and it flags an urgency on our part as government to really do something. And we the department are working towards a big program that would enable parents and to an extent churches, schools to try and come up with awareness on public health."

Doros-Day Kenneth says the government, parents and community at large must be responsible for addressing the issue otherwise the number of young mothers will continue to grow.

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