Concern about risk of Pacific population explosion

Last Updated: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 13:37:00 +1000

A New Zealand politician has warned against the risk of a Pacific population explosion if teenagers aren't given access to sexual health and reproductive services.

Dr Jackie Blue is chairwoman of the New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development, which is currently meeting Pacific government and non government organisation members.

Dr Blue has told Pacific Beat the issue is critical to the region because it can't sustain a booming population.

"It's extremely urgent," she said.

"We know that 56 per cent of the population in Pacific island countries is under 25 and the next generation or two there will be a doubling of that population and quite frankly the countries cannot sustain that."

She says teenagers need to be given better access to sexual health and reproductive services and sex education in schools.

"Comprehensive sexuality education, there is no sort of standardised format or information that is given out," she said.

"In Solomon Islands it is only given out at form three level, very few youth get to form three level, where it is so competitive.

"If a family can only afford one person to go to school for tertiary education, it is usually a boy."

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