26 Apr 2011

Sex education still a delicate issue in American Samoa

8:25 pm on 26 April 2011

Statistics for last year show that teenage pregnancies are continuing to rise in American Samoa.

In 2010, 133 babies were born to teenage mothers, ranging from 12 to 19 years - in 2007 there were 95.

Our correspondent Monica Miller says programmes to address the problem usually carry the abstinence message, but it's not always effective.

"People tend to still not talk about these things in the family setting, traditional family that is, but with the advent of internet and kids are exposed through the media to a lot of influences that parents can no longer just tell their kids to abstain."

The Department of Health's Family Planning co-ordinator, Taliilagi Peau, says parents, schools, and religious groups are resistant to moves to educate youth about birth control.