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10,000 teen girls have children every year in Kazakhstan

20 july 2012, 17:36
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Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
More than ten thousand teenage girls have babies every year in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Tamara Dzhusubaliyeva, president of Kazakhstan Association of Sexual and Reproductive Health, as saying at the press-conference timed to the World Population Day.

The speaker said that despite of the achieved progress in the field of reproductive health there were still a number of problems in Kazakhstan. Access to gynecologists for teenage girls still remains insufficient. Teenagers are officially allowed to have sex at the age of 16 in Kazakhstan. At the same time, girls are officially allowed to visit doctors, including gynecologists, on their own without supervision of their parents only at the age of 18 in Kazakhstan. This creates a two year gap that causes problems. “That is why we are extensively promoting the issue of lowing the age (when girl can visit doctors on their own) from 18 to 15,” Dzhusubaliyeva added.

Another problem was pointed out by executive representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Kazakhstan Alexander Kossukhin: "In comparison with 1999, unmet family planning needs have grown by one quarter, according to the Statistic Agency of Kazakhstan. Today one of every nine women of reproductive age, who has an active sexual life but doesn't want to have a baby in the next two years, manages her pregnancies by means of abortions, because contraceptives are not available,” Alexander Kossukhin said.

Tamara Dzhusubaliyeva added that in some regions of the country girls are not aware of ways of family planning or use of contraceptives. She also brought the example of South Kazakhstan Oblast were wives in any traditional families may buy contraceptives if only with the permission of their mothers-in-law and are not allowed to make the decision on using them on their own.

In this regard we are running awareness campaigns to educate young people on family planning. Special study guides and education materials have been released for teenagers, volunteers go out telling teenagers about sexual and reproductive health. Besides, we are also working on upgrading the qualification of doctors.

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