KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 – A total of 41,083 teen pregnancies were recorded by the Ministry of Health (MOH) between 2017 and 2022, of which 35 per cent, or 14,561 cases, were out of wedlock.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun, in a written response in Parliament on December 22, said the number of pregnant teens who opt to get services at government health facilities on average stood at 10,000 every year.
Rina said this is equivalent to 830 cases of teen pregnancies each month, of which 35 per cent were unmarried. This amounts to about 28 teen pregnancies a day. She was responding to a question by Senator Paul Igai who asked for statistics on the number of teen pregnancies by state from the year 2017, and steps taken to address the situation.
According to teen pregnancy data by the state health departments for the year 2017 until 2020, the top five states with the highest number of out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies were Sarawak with 4,869 cases, Johor (1,883), Selangor (1,768), Sabah (1,501), and Perak (1,151).
Rina said her ministry, via the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), is committed to implementing various intervention and preventive programmes on reproductive health and sexuality to adolescents, families, and the community to address the issue of underage pregnancy.
This includes the formulation of a policy and action plan on health, reproductive, and social education (PEKERTI) that aims to raise awareness among all parties, including women, families, and children on the matter.
Under the action plan, reproductive health will be taught either formally in schools or informally outside of schools to improve general understanding of health reproductive issues, Rina said.