Fatimah: Number of teenage pregnancies in the state on the decline

A pregnant woman is the index case of a new cluster named the Sungai Nirai Cluster in Selangau. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 12: Latest statistics indicate that teenage pregnancies in Sarawak are on a steady downward trend, the august House was told today.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said as of September this year, the number of reported cases was 1,539 against 1,645 in 2017 and 1,873 for the same period in 2016.

“It is, however, different for sexual crimes against women and children, which include cases such as rape, incest, indecency, sodomy and sexual misconduct against children,” she lamented in her winding-up speech.

“Police statistics recorded 199 cases for the period from January to September 2018 as to compared to 176 cases during the same period in 2017,” she pointed out, adding that there were only 129 cases during the same period in 2016.

Fatimah assured that her office would continue with intervention initiatives with relevant agencies through various actions and programmes.

“The One-Stop Teenage Pregnancy Committee (OSTPC) and Social Law roadshow is a programme that seeks to publicise the two Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) namely the Teenage Pregnancy Management Guide in Sarawak and the Guidelines on the Management of Violence Against Women and Children and Social Law,” she explained.

She elaborated that the roadshow was also aimed at raising awareness on the importance of collaboration among all parties in addressing the issue of adolescent pregnancies, sexual crimes involving children and domestic violence.

She revealed that since Nov 2017 until Oct 2018, 15 series of OSTPC and Social Laws roadshows had been held involving 2,233 participants from various implementing agencies as well as grassroots community and institution leaders.

Another outreach programme by the ministry is to enhance understanding of teenage pregnancies, the legislation relating to sexual crimes, adolescents, sexually transmitted infections and healthy relationships and sexual education among students in Sarawak through Advocacy on Sexual Education and Awareness Programme.

In the first 10 months of this year, 17 of such programmes were implemented in 11 divisions, except Samarahan, involving 3,439 students from 14 secondary schools. — DayakDaily