Essex welcomes lowest teenage pregnancy rate in five years

Health / Thu 13th Aug 2020 at 08:28am

Essex welcomes lowest teenage pregnancy rate in 5 years

AFTER a steady decrease over the last five years, the overall under 18 conception rate in Essex recorded in 2018 is now 14.1 per 1000, which is below the national and regional levels.

Essex County Council (ECC) leads the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Strategy and works closely with a number of partners to reduce the number of teenage conceptions whilst also ensuring that young parents know how to access services and feel supported to do so.

Director for Public Health at Essex County Council, Dr Mike Gogarty said: “The figures speak for themselves and are testament to the hard work of agencies across the county and the work they are doing with educating and supporting young people.

However, there is still work to be done. We remain committed to ensuring our young people have access to free, non-judgemental support services across the county, and will continue to work with our partners in reducing this rate even further. A key way we are tackling this is by bringing more of our services online for our younger residents that may need support.”

Sexual Health support in the county is delivered through the Essex Sexual Health Service. This ECC service is free, confidential and non-judgemental. The service offers everyone appropriate and effective advice and care to benefit their sexual health. A range of services are available including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests, contraception and General sexual health advice, counselling and support.

The Essex Sexual Health Service (ESHS) was established in 1 April 2016 and since then has supported over 70,000 young people in ESHS clinics and online.

The ESHS is part of a wide network that also supports young people in other settings in the community such as GP practices, schools and pharmacy settings, including our eC-Card. This scheme enables young people aged 16-24 to access to free condoms online via an app and collect from locations across Essex. Over 800 young people have used the eC-Card since it was introduced in 2018 and over 4,000 copies of the App have been downloaded.

Cabinet Member for Health at ECC, Cllr John Spence said: “These figures are promising and I am pleased to see the rates continue to decline year on year. However, we must not be complacent.

We are committed to ensuring young people continue to have access to a good level of age appropriate, quality relationships and sex education, are aware of, and able to access, Essex Sexual Health services and know where they can go for non-judgemental advice and support.”

More details about the Essex Sexual Health service can be found here www.essexsexualhealthservice.org.uk

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