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Save the Children red-flags Romania's high number of teen pregnancies

Salvați copiii

Executive president of Save the Children Romania, Gabriela Alexandrescu, speaking at a debate on Tuesday, cautioned about Romania's high teen pregnancy rate, according to AGERPRES.

"We express our concern over the persistent high number of pregnancies in girls under 15 and under 19. Of the total number of births in 2019, almost 750 were in mothers under 15 and almost 18,000 in mothers aged between 15 and 19. We are first in Europe by the number of under-15 pregnancies," Alexandrescu declared.

According to her, Romania registers 40 percent of EU pregnancies in girls under 15, and 23 percent of pregnancies in girls under 19. There are no underage moms in the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland, Gabriela Alexandrescu added.

She detailed that the areas with the most adolescent mothers under 19 are the counties of Bihor, Suceava, Iasi, Vaslui, Bacau, Mures, Brasov, Prahova, Dambovita, Dolj, Calarasi, Constanta and Bucharest, while Mures, Dolj, Brasov, Iasi, Bacau have most mothers under 15.

On the other hand, she pointed out, Romania stays at the top of the EU in terms of infant mortality, the main cause being premature birth that is related to the mother's too young or too advanced age.

"Four in 10 teenage girls who become mothers gave birth prematurely and many of them had no contact with public social assistance services or are not registered with a family doctor," Gabriela Alexandrescu said.

She pointed out that Save the Children is involved in equipping neonatology and pediatrics hospital departments, having offered 830 equipment items to 100 medical units for 100,000 children, but that the organization's efforts also target education, support, and community services.

"We are concerned about how we can get the information through to mothers. By the end of March we will reach 100,000 mothers, through 74 maternity hospitals. Through our campaign and program we are covering the need for the medical education mothers should receive. (...) We thought of developing a pilot information program via video system in maternity hospitals and we started with such facilities in university centers," Alexandrescu said.

In the last 3 years Save the Children has also developed health education programs in schools - complete with a sex education module - which included 83,000 children.

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