Decrease In Teen Pregnancy In Sarawak, State Assembly Informed

For illustration only. Minister says teen pregnancy in Sarawak almost halved.
Model posing for illustration only. Minister says teen pregnancy in Sarawak almost halved.

KUCHING – Teen pregnancy in Sarawak decreased from 4,078 cases in 2013 to 2,087 cases this year (as of October 2016), said state Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.

She said the ministry together with the One-Stop Teenage Pregnancy Committee would increase prevention and sexual advocacy education programmes for secondary school students in the state.

Fatimah Abdullah
Fatimah Abdullah

Fatimah said the ministry seriously viewed pregnancy cases that ended up in baby dumping.

There had been 10 such cases this year with the latest, in Tudan, Miri, she said while winding up the debate for her ministry at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly here Monday.

She said to prevent inhuman disposal of new-born, the ministry would establish strategic cooperation with Kuching Specialist Hospital (KPJ) to implement the KPJ Baby Hatch.

“The aim of this baby hatch is to prevent baby dumping at unsafe places, reduce unnecessary deaths of new-born and save the life of the babies who did not asked to be born but have the right to live,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fatimah said domestic violence showed a worrying trend in the state with 349 (85 men and 264 women) reported cases as of October this year, compared to 279 cases (97 men and 182 women) in 2015.

As for child abuse, there were 15 reported cases comprising seven boys and eight girls in 2015 and 22 cases comprising 17 boys and 14 girls of of October this year, she said.

She said to protect victims, the ministry had taken steps to reinforce the existing standard operating procedure in the management of the cases.

“At the same time, the ministry has also created an inter-agency SOP for the purpose of more efficient and effective coordination,” she said.

She cited the agencies involved as Royal Malaysian Police, state Health Department and state Social Welfare Department.

On another issue, Fatimah said the state government had agreed to improve the disaster assistance scheme aimed at easing victims’ burden.

The scheme is only temporary and is not a form of compensation for losses suffered by the victims, she said.

She also disclosed that RM4.8 million had been allocated to build seven new preschools and rehabilitate 12 more to improve the quality of service delivery in early childhood education managed by the state Community Development Department.

The projects would be fully completed in early 2017 to benefit 475 children, she added.