MIRI: Sarawak has reduced its teenage pregnancies related problem by more than 10 per cent last year following the formation of the One Stop Pregnancy Committee (OSTPC) since Oct 2014.
Sarawak Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said in 2014 a total of 3,401 teenage pregnancies were reported and up to Nov 2015 the figures declined to 2,663 with Dec 2015 showing a decreasing trend statewide.
“We have estimated that the reduction of teenage pregnancies will be between 10 to 19 per cent if it includes Dec 2015 figures, that excedeed our Key Perfomance Index (KPI) target of 10 per cent,” she told reporters after chairing the OSTPC Miri meeting here today.
Fatimah, who is state OSTPC chairman, attributed the reduction to the critical role played by the goverment departments and agencies, police, religious and women non-govermental organisations (NGOs) in creating awareness of teenage pregnancies and its negative impact among parents as well as teenagers statewide.
“It is a success story because Sarawak is ranked second after Sabah in terms of highest teenage pregnancies and, with the latest figures, it showed that our efforts through OSTPC are slowly achieving its result.
“As for the cases referred to OSTPC in 2015, statewide up to November last year we have received 157 cases, solved 85 cases while the rest of cases some cannot be solved as it involved statutory rape or rape with minors which is a serious offence,” she said.
She said for Miri it also showed a downward trend with 411 teenage pregnancies registered up to Nov 2015 compared to 509 in 2014.
She said the main challenge facing teenage pregnancies in Sarawak was the absence of the father’s name in the birth certificate if the mother was not married to the child’s biological father which would create a negative impact.