Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention week
The week of 19 October 2020 is being observed as Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention week. Adolescent pregnancy profoundly affects girls’ life trajectories. It hampers their psychosocial development, contributes to poor health outcomes for girls and their offspring, negatively affects their educational and employment opportunities, and contributes to the perpetuation of intergenerational cycles of poor health and poverty.
Adolescent mothers (ages 10-19 years) face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometriosis, and systemic infections than women aged 20-24
years and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions.
Despite recent socioeconomic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), adolescent fertility rates in the region remain unacceptably high—the second highest in the world—with major inequities between and within countries. Girls from families in the lower wealth quintile, with lower levels of education, and from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities are disproportionately affected by adolescent pregnancy. The rising trend in pregnancies in girls younger than 15 years is also highly concerning.
For more information, download the PAHO brief on Adolescent Pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean.