15 Jun 2017

High teenage pregnancy statistics released in Fiji

1:41 pm on 15 June 2017

Fijian government figures show alarming statistics on pregnancy cases among teenage girls, with 1,456 teenage pregnancies recorded last year.

48 of those pregnant were under the age of 15 years.

The Methodist Church spokesperson, the Reverend James Bhagwan, said Fiji needed to be honest with the change in culture among the youth.

Mr Bhagwan said the consumption of explicit pop culture and internet pornography had influenced young people and their values, and could be a factor in the high pregnancy figures.

He said there was a culture of silence among Pacific people, with children told what to do and adults assuming they listened.

But according to Mr Bhagwan, that wouldn't work with society changing rapidly.

"We're having increasing access to all these forms of new culture, of new ideas, access to information and the issue is not controlling that access, but the issue is helping our young people to be able to discern and make right decisions and right choices, but we can only do that if we ourselves are willing to have that conversation."