7:30 AM Monday Jul 6, 2015
Dr Tania Pinfold
Making sure young people have access to choices around contraception, the ability to access it for free and to do so in a place they felt comfortable, are all keys to preventing unplanned pregnancies, according to a youth health doctor.
Rotovegas Youth Health clinical leader Dr Tania Pinfold said a proposal to fit all young women with long-term contraceptives before they started having sex wouldn't work as it didn't address the wider messages around safe sex and respectful relationships.
"I don't think you can make anyone do anything," she said.
University of Otago academics have called for a free contraceptive programme to be made available to teens before they become sexually active. In the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Neil Pickering, Lynley Anderson and Helen Paterson said teen pregnancy placed significant costs on the individual and society.
Dr Pinfold said there was "no doubt" that unintended pregnancy could be a crisis.
"We know that some young women have trouble remembering to take the pill properly, or getting their contraceptive injection every three months. [Long acting reversible contraception] are almost fool-proof protection from pregnancy."
She said the availability of long-acting reversible contraception had added a reliable option to contraceptive choices for women of all ages.
"Whatever the contraception choice might be, medical educators still continue with critical messages about protection from sexually transmitted infections. Teaching young people how to make safer choices and negotiate respectful relationships is essential."
Dr Pinfold said parents would always have a key role in keeping their young people safe.
"They mustn't avoid conversations around sexual health, and need to stay involved in the lives of their young people as they become more independent."
She said Lakes District Health Board figures from the 2009/10 financial year to the 2012/13 financial year showed both births, and terminations for under 20-year-olds had dropped steadily.
Dr Pinfold believed a decision to fund around 900 Jadelle long-acting contraception insertions in under 24-year-olds in the past five years had an impact.
The rods, inserted into the arms, last about five years.
"It is a very good number. Lakes has the highest rate of anywhere in the country."
- Rotorua Daily Post
by Rebecca Malcolm
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Making it law for parents to be informed of teenage girls having abortions would put some girls - and their partners - at risk of serious harm and could lead to girls trying to terminate pregnancies themselves, says a Rotorua doctor.
Rotovegas Youth Health clinical leader Dr Tania Pinfold said she believed a petition for a law change to make sure parents of under-16 year olds were informed their daughter was having a termination would have negative consequences in some cases.
She said there were few school-aged girls having terminations in the Rotorua area and the number had reduced by 25 per cent in the past four years.
"Almost always, a family member is involved in supporting a young person who is considering termination of pregnancy," Dr Pinfold said. "Doctors and nurses work very hard to have this happen, with the consent and participation of the pregnant girl."
She said legislation "demanding" that parents be informed could lead to the risk of serious harm, from the family in some cases.
"If parents had to be informed, girls could avoid telling anyone of the pregnancy for as long as possible, or could undertake risky actions to try and terminate the pregnancy themselves."
Dr Pinfold said there was no perfect answer for all cases.
The petition for a law change was launched by Taranaki mother Hillary Kieft, whose teenage daughter was taken to another town for an abortion without her knowledge several years ago.
Tu Toa Whangarei (translates to Stand Tall Whangarei) is the community based action initiative focusing on Bullying Behaviour awareness and Prevention, funded by Te Punganga Haumaru from Ministry of Social Development and operated out of the Whangarei Youth Space (WYS). Led by a stunning young man, Ryan Donaldson, we are in the middle of the second all day filming on Sunday at the WYS. The goals and objectives of the project is to raise awareness and understanding of bullying behaviour through the following methods.
• Formation of young leaders group (Group of youth guiding the project)
• Formation of four community groups (groups identified by project to produce short films)
• Development of four short films, all based on bullying behaviour and prevention stories produced from the identified four groups.
• Development of musical piece or song, based on bullying behaviour.
• Running of festival/event where short films and music are displayed and community is invited.
Excitement is growing as the festival/event is going to be a Red Carpet event at our local Cinema Theatre. All the films, video clips and the journey of the making of these clips, films and the music piece will be showcased.
For any further updates or information go to our facebook page - Tu Toa Whangarei; www.youthspace.co.nz
This is a group full of enthusiastic youth who are standing up to cyber bullies and their hurtful words. This positive example of young leadership is making an an impression nationwide. Check out the facebook page and the youtube presentation where this team of young people were awarded runner up in the National Trust power awards at Te Papa.
A new website has been launched aimed at dispelling myths and providing
simple up to date information on sexually transmitted diseases and other
related issues. Research indicates that Maori and Pasific Island youth under
25 years are most at risk of STIs within the NZ population
Lifehack was launched in 2013, and is part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Project, which aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Specifically Lifehack was seed funded by the Social Media Innovation Fund.
Check out 10 Things You Need To Know About Lifehack in 2015!
This report looked at how to deliver youth-centred health services mainly in community and primary care settings. It is one of a number of forecasts commissioned by Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) to build a picture of the future health and disability workforce.
Research from the Government's Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit shows that fewer teenagers are giving birth, and teenage births have declined in all regions except Northland.
Click here to link to the factsheet summary
Click here to link to the full report
Youth participation key to good decision making. Youth development organisation Youthline says it is a priority for communities to facilitate meaningful youth participation.
This was one of the driving forces behind a meeting of Youthline’s National Youth Advisory Group, recently renamed the National Youth Collective, (NYC) last month.
Click here to read the news article