Teenage pregnancy rates in Highland hit 20 year low
Issued by NHS Highland
Teenage pregnancy rates in the Highlands have hit a twenty year low, figures published by the Scottish Government show.
Rates of pregnancy in NHS Highland’s area fell from fifty-nine per thousand females aged 13 - 20 in the peak year of 1998 to forty per thousand in 2012 (the latest year for which figures are available). The reduction in the 13 – 15 age group is even more dramatic with rates plummeting from seven per thousand in 1998 to just three per thousand in 2012.
While Highland pregnancy rates in those under 16 have been consistently lower than Scotland over the period of the report, rates have also declined across Scotland as a whole.
NHS Highland’s Director of Public Health, Dr Margaret Somerville said: “Since the nineteen nineties we have worked very hard, along with our partner agencies, to reduce teenage pregnancy rates by making youth-friendly sexual health services available, vastly improving information for young people, and supporting parents to talk to their children about sex and relationships. We are delighted at the results we are seeing. However, much remains to be done, particularly in areas of deprivation where teenage pregnancy rates are still too high.”
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, The Highland Council said: “These are extremely welcome figures, reflecting the work being done by health services and in schools, to support parents and young people. This reflects our focus on early intervention and preventative work with at risk groups of young people, as well as excellent universal services, supporting families across the Highland area.”