Drastic reduction in teenage pregnancy in Aruba

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A few years ago, teenage pregnancies were abundant on our island, causing concern in the community. Isabella Eman, nurse at the White Yellow Cross in the department of young mothers, told our reporter that in the most recent years, a satisfactory reduction can be noted in the amount of teenage pregnancies.

The focus group is young women, aged 14 to 20 years. The department focuses on prevention of teenage pregnancies. They do this through talks at schools, offering birth control and other methods and information to prevent teenage pregnancies.

Eman explained that the department also does home visits for teenagers who already are mothers, in order to guide them and also to prevent a second pregnancy. They help young mothers with motivation to continue school, as well as tools to care for a baby while they are enrolled in school.
They also give information to young mothers about the development from 0 to 2 years old for a baby, and they advocate for the baby to receive the necessary vaccines and care.

According to White Yellow Cross’ statistics, in the year 2000 there were about 200 cases of teenage pregnancy per year, and for the next few years, an increase was registered. In 2021, there were 45 teenage pregnancies, showing a significant reduction. “We hope that for 2022 there can be even less. We will have the data for this year in January 2023”, Eman indicated.

Regarding expectations for next year, Eman commented that they will continue with prevention as well as curative work. “If a teenager has a child, OK, let’s do the best that we can. We help the teenager with the process of raising a baby, help her to go to school, with her self esteem. And for the teenagers who want to take care of themselves in order to not get pregnant, we continue offering anticonceptive services.”

She commented that they will also continue with educational talks at schools, as well as in other places – institutions and organizations outside of school. “Our goal is for the information to reach all teenagers out there”, she said.