KOICA partners with World Vision to address teenage pregnancy

KOICA partners with World Vision to address teenage pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy has been a longstanding concern that many countries face to this day. In ASEAN member states, the Philippines has one of the highest adolescent birth rates where according to 2019 World Bank data, the country has 55 births annually per 1,000 women aged 15-24 have already begun childbearing, according to a 2021 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study. 

Being pregnant as a teenager puts these girls at higher risks of health complications such as eclampsia, preterm birth leading to low birth weight for their babies, pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes mellitus, systemic infections, and other severe neonatal conditions. 

Seeing the urgency to protect the health of young mothers and infants, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), in partnership with World Vision, is implementing the KOICA Maternal Newborn and Child Health Project (KOICA MNCH) in Eastern Visayas. 

The project will cover 16 municipalities in the provinces of Leyte, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Northern Samar. The project aligns with the Philippines National Development Plan and KOICA’s National Cooperation Strategy. The project also aims to ensure the healthy lives of mothers and their infants or children to reduce maternal mortality. To achieve maternal and child health at grassroots levels, a Regional Policy Forum focusing on teenage pregnancy will be held on September 6, 2023 at Summit Hotel, Tacloban City. 

Themed Advancing Multi-Sectoral Policies to Reduce Teenage Pregnancy Cases in Eastern Visayas Region, the forum will bring together regional national and government agencies, local government units, international non-government organizations, and relevant stakeholders to discuss the pressing issues concerning teenage pregnancy including current outlook in the Eastern Visayas region, and identify the underlying causes and impacts on individuals and communities.

The forum hopes to implement teenage pregnancy programs with the cooperation and participation of national and local agencies, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations for better policy development and decision-making processes to ensure the inclusivity and relevance of the strategies. 

KOICA partners with World Vision to address teenage pregnancy

“We’re looking forward to a very productive teenage pregnancy forum. Through this significant gathering, we hope to really delve deep into this very important matter so that we can better protect young women and children today and always,” said KOICA project director Jihwan Jeon. 

Meanwhile, World Vision’s Executive Director Rommel V. Fuerte said “World Vision is grateful to KOICA and their effort to help secure a better future for the most vulnerable Filipino children. We pray that initiatives like the Regional Policy Forum can bring to light solutions to effectively address teenage pregnancy in Eastern Visayas, and eventually in the whole country.”

The Maternal Newborn and Child Health Project is one of KOICA’s initiatives that highlight their mission and vision of contributing to common prosperity and the promotion of world peace by implementing programs that address issues on health, education, climate action, gender equality, human rights, peace, and many more. 

Aligned with its values and objectives is World Vision, a global humanitarian organization devoted to improving the lives of the vulnerable sectors of society especially impoverished children, their families and their communities. 

For more updates, visit https://www.worldvision.org.ph and follow World Vision Philippines’ official social media pages: @worldvisionph on Facebook and Twitter, and @worldvisionphl on Instagram.

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