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Health chief: Advice and contraception access helping reduce teen pregnancies
5:00pm Wednesday 26th February 2014 in News
PUBLIC health leaders believe improving community access to sexual health advice and contraception is behind a reduction in teenage pregnancies.
Historically St Helens has had some of the highest rates for under-18 conceptions in the country.
However, latest figures show that the number continues to fall.
The figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal 2012 saw 123 under-18 conceptions in the borough, compared with 147 in 2011 and 180 in 2010.
It means the annual rate for teenage pregnancies in St Helens stands at 38.1 per 1,000 young women aged 15 to 17 – compared with 45.4 in 2011.
Much of the improvement is being put down to the work of the Teen Advice Zone outreach team.
It supports young people aged 13 to 18 to improve their sexual health and well-being, choose healthy relationships and prevent early parenting.
Youth centres have also been added to the list of venues offering the C-Card service, which makes it easier for 13 to 19-year-olds to obtain advice and free condoms.
The team offers its services at every secondary school in the borough, including drop-ins, targeted group work, one-to-one support and the delivery of sex and relationships education.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member councillor Gareth Cross said: “These are very encouraging figures, and show that by providing easy access to community sexual health services and contraception in community settings we can help young people to take a responsible approach to sex and relationships.”
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