Teenage pregnancy figures swelling » Borneo Bulletin Online

Izah Azahari

Teenage pregnancy in Brunei Darussalam remains a worrying trend, with data showing 232 cases reported in 2021. This suggests a continued upward climb from the reported 200 cases in 2017.

Although data on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among teenagers has shown a decrease – from 15 cases in 2017 to two cases in 2021 – the statistics is only among cases reported to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Health Education Officer at the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) of the MoH cum ACE Youth Camp 2022 co-chairperson Nurul Adilah binti Mahmud shared this during the closing ceremony of the ACE Youth Camp pilot programme at the Games Village, Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the MoH Dr Ang Swee Hui attended as the guest of honour.

Nurul Adilah explained that the 2019 Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) among youth aged 13 to 15 years carried out in the Sultanate suggested that one in 20 youth have had a sexual experience, while one in 10 have experienced online sexual grooming.

The ACE (A-Active and Admirable, C-Charismatic, and E-Excellent) Youth Project is conducted with the hopes of helping the Sultanate realise the objectives of Brunei Vision 2035 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child issued by the United Nations, in line with the initiative under the MoH – through the HPC. The ACE Youth Camp pilot programme falls under this project.

The camp, for those in the 12-15 age bracket, is designed to raise awareness on the importance of practising a healthy lifestyle and give pointers on how to avoid being influenced by risky behaviour.

“A camp like this helps to reduce cases of social symptoms such as teenage pregnancy. Participants can also do their part in sharing the information and educating their peers,” Nurul Adilah added.

Certificates were awarded to the 35 students from five secondary schools who participated in the four-day event.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health Dr Ang Swee Hui presents a certificate to a participant. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
Health Education Officer at the Health Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Health Nurul Adilah binti Mahmud delivers her speech

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