Government, NGOs Working To Improve Health Services, Education To Prevent Rising Teenage Pregnancy Rate In Guatemala

“Teenage pregnancies are on the rise in Guatemala, along with the drop-out rate in schools, family breakdown and many other related social ills,” Inter Press Service reports, adding that the “impoverished Central American country of 14 million people has an adolescent (under-20) birth rate of 114 per 1,000 women in rural areas, according to the National Mother and Child Health Survey for 2008-2009.” The article discusses efforts by the government and non-profit organizations to prevent unwanted pregnancies, including laws allowing for basic maternity services and sex education classes.

“Silvia Maldonado of the National Alliance of Indigenous Women’s Organisations for Reproductive Health (ALIANMISAR) told IPS that dropping out of school, malnutrition and discrimination are among the consequences of teen pregnancies” and “said education was one of the most important factors for the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, which severely curtails life opportunities for thousands of teenagers and creates the phenomenon of ‘kids having kids,'” according to the article (Valladares, 4/6).