Poverty March 11, 2015 | 8:00 am

Dominican teens rank 3rd in pregnancy in region

Santo Domingo.- Teen fertility rates in Latin America and the Caribbean haven’t declined at the same rate globally, and its increase is projected to continue.

Of the region’s six countries studied, Dominican Republic ranked third with higher incidence of teen pregnancy of 25 percent, compared with Nicaragua’s 28, and Honduras 26 percent.

The study in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic notes that among the factors associated with early motherhood figure household characteristics of the adolescent: their parents’ income, education levels and the status of household poverty. In addition, there are relevant contextual factors, such as access to integral sex education, various family planning methods and ensuring the exercise of their rights.

According to the findings of the “Experiences and stories about teenage pregnancy: An approach to cultural, social and emotional factors in Latin America and the Caribbean,” one third of all pregnancies are females under 18, and of these nearly 20% are under 15.

Social inequality, macho culture, lack of public policies and sex education in schools could be behind the jump in those cases.

For UNICEF local representative María Jesús Conde, the rise is unacceptable because, in addition to jeopardizing the right of girls, it impacts their physical and emotional health, as well as the State and society as a whole.

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