POPCOM: Adolescents for Health towards Health for Adolescents
As teenage pregnancy and HIV infection cases continue to increase, the Commission on Population-Region VI also doubles its efforts to educate and empower adolescents to make responsible decisions in life. This is the very reason that adolescents from all sectors will converge for the Regional Adolescent Summit with the theme “In Full Circle: Adolescents for Health towards Health for Adolescents” on December 12-14, 2016 in Iloilo City.
This is a break-free initiative that POPCOM VI regularly conducts and once again gather all our partners from the Provincial and City Population Offices together with trained peer educators to further the advocacy on responsible adolescent sexuality,” explained Mr. Harold Alfred P. Marshall, POPCOM VI Regional Director. “What’s different in this year’s summit is that we refocus our efforts to adolescents (10-19 years old) and also open the event for all adolescent sectors like the out-of-school, differently-able, LGBT, teen parents, and other vulnerable adolescent sectors (MSM),” Dir. Marshall added.
POPCOM VI is actively implementing the Adolescent Health and Development Program (AHDP) which is one of the key programs thrusts of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) that aims to contribute to the improvement and promotion of the total well-being of young Filipinos ages 10-19 through their sexual and reproductive health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are health problems established during adolescence stage such as: intentional (suicide) and unintentional (accidents) injuries, sexual and reproductive health problems, substance use and abuse, mental health problems, nutritional health problems, and endemic and chronic diseases.
The need to exert more efforts in terms of promoting Adolescent Health and Development is also in response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to implement in full force and effect the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012 where adolescent health is one of the components. Also, this is in response to the UNFPA report which says that Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia where cases of teenage pregnancy continue to rise over the past decade. Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4) revealed that in Region VI, cases of teen pregnancy have quadrupled over the past decade (2002-2013).
Expected activities during the Regional Adolescent Summit are group dynamics on adolescent health, breakaway sessions on mental health, healthy lifestyle, HIV and teenage pregnancy prevention and the drafting of Declaration on AHD.
This activity is in coordination with the Department of Health and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP).