Teenage pregnancies at lowest since 1998

Croydon teenage pregnancy rates failed to meet 2010 target. Photo: Flickr

Teenage pregnancies in Croydon have dropped by almost a third since 1998, it was announced last week.

In 1998 the Government ordered Croydon Council to halve the rate of teenage pregnancies by 2010 when it was revealed that the area had the second highest level in outer London.

In 2010 the council was criticised after it emerged they had failed to reach the stipulated target. However, the ‘multi-agency’ team responsible for the drop in 2012- The Teenage Pregnancy Strategic Partnership Board – whose aims are education on the causes of teenage pregnancies, prevention, as well support for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents, have recently been nominated for a national award following their success.

The results were disclosed in a detailed report that highlighted Croydon’s major health concerns, which the council and NHS state will help them focus on their commitment to keep residents healthy for longer. It also boasts ‘excellent results’ achieved in their efforts to cut smoking and decrease incidences of chlamydia.

The report underlines the high standards of care for older people in the borough, which is rated as ‘excellent’, and claims that ‘for over a year’ Croydon has been without a case of the deadly Superbug MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the flesh eating bacteria responsible for killing thousands, which plagues many hospitals and nursing homes.

Croydon council and the NHS have said that they will now use the report to determine where available resources must be targeted next.

A worrying statistic revealed in the report is a high local infant mortality rate, as a result of these findings they state that a ‘multi-disciplinary infant mortality reduction strategy’, is now being prepared.

Councillor Margaret Mead, cabinet member for adult services and health, said: “This paper is incredibly important to every health professional in Croydon. It sets out in very clear terms just where our priorities have to lie.”

Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “We’ve done a huge amount of valuable work already to enhance the health of local people, but now we have to focus our resources for the next few years on the things that really matter and that will make a genuine difference to people’s lives.”

By Sean Lindholm

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