Guyana, Other Countries Must Ensure Young People Have Access To Comprehensive Sexual, Reproductive Health Services

Project Syndicate: Saving Children from Having Children
Patricee Douglas, medical doctor, recipient of the 120 Under 40 award for leadership in family planning, and member of Women Across Differences

“…Guyana can lower its rate of teen pregnancy. But it will require significant changes in how Guyanese think about and address the issue of adolescent sexual activity. For starters, Guyana must implement comprehensive sex education and work to ensure that teachers have been trained to provide unbiased data and information. … Moreover, communities need to increase access to contraceptives and other sexual-health services … These reforms are essential to improve the life prospects of Guyana’s young people. If more teenagers had access to sex education and contraception, fewer girls would have their lives interrupted by pregnancy. Only by empowering women and girls with the resources to control their reproduction will the grim statistics that have long burdened Guyana — and many other countries — begin to change for the better” (1/17).