Schools asked to help spot signs of pregnancy in teens
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
AN OFFICIAL from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) is urging schools in Brunei to be more vigilant in spotting teenagers with signs of pregnancy.
Hjh Noor Hidayah Hj Osman said most of the pregnant teens referred to JAPEM claimed to only find out about their pregnancy when they were about to deliver or upon medical checkups.
“Some of them said they were not aware that they were pregnant. Some realised that they were pregnant only when they go to the hospital. That’s how it is most of the time (based on JAPEM’s investigation), only when they go to hospital or when they give birth,” said the officer from the Children’s Unit of the Family, Women and Children’s Section.
However, Hjh Noor Hidayah noted that these were only the claims of the young mothers.
“Again, genuineness is a question mark,” she said, adding that a majority of these pregnant teens also had poor sexual knowledge, with most saying they did not believe they could get pregnant from having sexual intercourse once or twice.
She added that most of the pregnant teens referred to JAPEM relied on methods they believed could prevent pregnancies.
Giving an example, Hjh Noor Hidayah said JAPEM has seen cases of teens living double lives.
“We received cases where they are fine at home and are respectful but show a different personality at school,” said the officer, noting that parents should also be mindful of who they let their children hang out with.
“Even if they come from stable families, when they mingle with those that challenge them and are involved in unhealthy activities, they become curious and follow in their peer’s footsteps,” she said.
The JAPEM officer said any individuals under 18 who are found to be pregnant are usually referred to JAPEM for investigation.
“Once they are referred to us, we will do an investigation and from there we will suggest certain plans to help them through for most times, we would refer them for counselling, therapy and to meet with other specialists,” she said.
She also called for more cooperation between parents and schools in reducing teen pregnancy.
“They’re young and have a whole life ahead of them. We need to bridge that gap and ensure they know the consequence of unhealthy activities can ruin their future,” said Hjh Noor Hidayah.
The Brunei Times