Seminar Proceedings: Adolescent Pregnancy and the First 1000 Days (the Philippine Situation)

Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;24:759-766.  doi: 10.6133/apjcn.2015.24.4.07

The Seminar on Adolescent Pregnancy and the First 1000 Days (the Philippine Situation) was held in Metro Manila on September 2013. The objectives were to (1) describe the current nutrition and health status of Filipino adolescent females, including those pregnant and lactating; (2) discuss existing programs that address their concerns; and (3) identify gaps in existing knowledge and programs, and ways to address these gaps. Adolescent pregnancy rates had increased from 8% in 2003 to 10% in 2008. In 2008, more than 35% of pregnant women below 20 years old were considered nutritionally-at-risk. Iodine deficiency and anemia were major health problems in both pregnant and lactating women of all ages. While government programs exist to address the needs of pregnant women, none were geared towards meeting the specific needs of pregnant adolescents. Studies are needed to find ways to improve adolescent health and to effectively prevent and deal with unwanted pregnancies among adolescents. Recommendations include (1) developing adolescent-friendly health centers, information and education materials to increase reproductive and health awareness among youth and health workers, (2) examining the psychosocial and nutritional factors that determine birth outcomes and nutritional status of pregnant/non-pregnant adolescents, (3) examining adolescent growth patterns following delivery, (4) evaluating the impact of current programs and interventions geared towards improving adolescent and maternal health, and more importantly, (5) identifying the underlying reasons for the continued rise in adolescent pregnancy in the country.

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