28 Apr 2010

Cooks says men to be targetted in campaign to curb teenage pregnancies

1:30 pm on 28 April 2010

The Cook Islands Family Welfare Association says more awareness programmes targetting men are needed to try and stem the rising number of teenage pregnancies.

The association's charge nurse, Kathy Koteka, says there is concern at the noticable number of girls getting pregnant at a much younger age.

She says the stigma still exists, particularly on outer islands, but families and communities then always seem to come around to accepting the pregnancy.

"It's not really been talked about are the boys who get the girls pregnant. They seem to be out of the picture. And if they're going to school, if the girl gets pregnant by a boy who goes to school from the same place, and what happens to the boy, he still goes to school and the girl she's left to stay home and look after her pregnancy."

Kathy Koteka says the Association is in Rarotonga to provide counselling and support to anyone who seeks it and travels to the outer islands once a year.

But she says teens who choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy have to travel overseas because abortions are illegal in the Cook Isands.