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Philippine Consultation Meeting of the Guideline Development Group for updated WHO guidelines on preventing child marriage, responding to the needs of married girls, and increasing access and uptake of contraception among adolescents, Manila
Dr. Mario Festin, GFMER Family Planning Course Ex-Course Coordinator, WHO
The meeting was conducted in person and online through Zoom. Dr. Mario Festin welcomed the participants and stated the objectives, process and outputs of the meeting.
Dr. Venkatraman Chandra-mouli described the global situation on child marriage and adolescent pregnancy and contraception. The 2011 WHO guidelines on preventing early pregnancy and poor reproductive outcomes in adolescents in developing countries are already due for an update. In the time since its publication, there has been new evidence, new program evaluations, changes in technology, and more experience from researchers and policymakers. The updates should reflect the necessary changes since 2011.
Dr. Angela Aguilar described the Philippine situation. In the Philippines, there has been a consistent drop in fertility rates in adolescents. Based on the analysis of the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2022, there is a disparity in fertility rates between urban and rural areas and educational status. A higher level of education and access to the internet seems to be protective of adolescent pregnancy. There are gross inequities in fertility rates and these have to be addressed. The different factors that are at play in adolescent pregnancies have to be analyzed and program effectiveness should be assessed.
Dr. Mario Festin described the process that would be used in reviewing the PICO questions. There are two sets of questions – one for addressing adolescent pregnancy and the other for reducing child marriage. Each question will be flashed on the screen and comments and suggestions on the clarity and relevance of the question. Comments on additional issues on each broad topic will also be taken.