12 Dec 2011

Teenage pregnancies growing problem in Vanuatu

11:52 am on 12 December 2011

Unwanted pregnancies among teenagers in Vanuatu was one of the population-related issues to dominate discussions at a parliamentary retreat in Port Vila last week.

The Vanuatu Family Health Association's Julius Ssnabulya, says it is unclear whether there is a higher rate of teenage pregnancies now because past records were not well maintained.

But he says it is obviously a problem as there are a number of cases of abortion and infanticide

"We realise the issue is a big one and is costing the government in terms of hospital bills and service delivery. We are now focussing so much on finding out why and what is happening."

Julius Ssnabulya says the focus of the retreat was to get support from MPs and says while the population is increasing, as is demand for services, funding for family planning is reducing.