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Preventing Teenage Pregnancies

The TTMA will be taking a pro-active role in preventing Teenage Pregnancies.

The Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association (T&TMA) abides by the laws of Trinidad and Tobago. Section 31 of the Sexual Offences Act Chapter 11:28 states:

“31. (1) Any person who—
(a) is the parent or guardian of a minor;
(b) Has the actual custody, charge or control of a­ minor
(c) Has the temporary custody, care, charge or control of a minor for a special purpose, as his attendant, employer or teacher, or in any other capacity; or
(d) is a medical practitioner, or a registered nurse or midwife, and has performed a medical examination in respect of a minor, and who has reasonable grounds for believing that a sexual offence has been committed in respect of that minor,

shall report the grounds for his belief to a police officer as soon as reasonably practicable.”

We know that by the time these young girls seek our care, the discussion about prevention is too late . They come to us when they are most vulnerable because they feel stigmatised. But even in our “Catch 22” situation, we educate, support and yes ­ report, knowing statutory rape is a criminal offence.

We, the Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association (T&TMA), believe that to decrease teenage pregnancies, the focus should be on prevention strategies. These include: Counselling to these girls and their families, Comprehensive school based sex education Agents for Medical Protection Society programs to include Planned Parenthood and Abstinence programs; Community based education drive.

The T&TMA in conjunction with the Gynaecological and Obstetrical Society of Trinidad and Tobago (GOSTT) and the Paediatric Society of Trinidad and Tobago (PSTT) is willing to work with any other agency to identify, plan and execute effective strategies to help prevent teenage pregnancy.

DR LIANE CONYETTE
PRESIDENT T&TMA 2014