Naga, Zuellig Foundation to address teen pregnancy
By Ana-liza Macatangay
This Naga City government, thru its City Population and Nutrition Office (CPNO), has recently inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) under its The Challenge Initiative (TCI) to address the high teenage pregnancy incidence rate in the city.
In the data released by the Naga City Civil Registry Office, there were 561 early pregnancies recorded for the past two years; 293 in 2020 and 268 in 2021.
Mayor Nelson Legacion expressed his gratitude to the ZFF for extending assistance to the city to address the teenage pregnancy concern.
He acknowledged that the increasing trend of young women giving birth at an early age does not only affect the economy but also the health concerns of both mother and child.
“Teenage pregnancy has far reaching consequences. Not only the health of our people but also on the economic social aspect of our community. It is also one of the major contributors to maternal and child mortality due to pregnancy complications and child birth,” Legacion said.
CPNO chief Ray-An Cedric Rentoy said they accept the challenge and urge the cooperation of both the government and private sectors to come up with a comprehensive programs for the city’s young population, particularly for teenage moms.
He said that the city recognized the need and importance of addressing the rising number of adolescent pregnancies.
“We shall work with our partners towards enabling and empowering adolescent youth in the city to achieve their dreams and aspirations. We are hopeful that through this partnership, we can reduce teenage pregnancies, scale up and sustain proven family planning methods,” Rentoy added.
ZFF also entered into an agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproduction Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to implement the TCI in the country. The program will be providing lifesaving reproductive health and family planning information and services, including adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) to underserved communities in urban areas.
ZFF Executive Director Austere A. Panadero sees the active participation of the youth in adolescent sexual reproductive health activities as a crucial factor to fully and successfully sustain the program.
“Indeed your efforts in Naga resulted to significant achievements, like strengthening the Bantay Familia and we have the Sangguniang Kabataan federation. Yet we still need to push more efforts to sustain these programs. We look forward to Naga’s leadership that they will find ways to address this challenge and share this to other LGUs as well,” Panadero said during the MOA signing ceremony held recently.
Other partners who pledged their commitment are the Commission on Population and Development-Regional Office V and the Department of Health –Bicol Center for Health Development. (PIA Camarines Sur)