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Sep 23, 2021

SCLAN Holds Third Annual Meeting

The Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) held its third annual side event in the margins of the Seventy-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The event was chaired by Her Excellency Rossana Briceño, spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize. The conversation focused on acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 on women and children and finding sustainable, positive recovery solutions for long-lasting development. The Keynote speaker for the event was Secretary-General Doctor Carla Barnett. Doctor Barnett addresses one of the most outstanding impacts of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is teenage pregnancy and funding for reproductive health and rights services during the pandemic.


Dr. Carla Barnett, Secretary-General, CARICOM

“One of the most telling impacts on the wellbeing of girls is teenage pregnancy. We already know that early pregnancy hampers the psychosocial development of girls, contributes to poor health outcomes, negatively contributes to their employment and education opportunities, and is a predictor of intergeneration poverty in households. While Latin America and the Caribbean has the second-highest adolescent pregnancy in the world, age cohort fifteen to nineteen years, the Pan American Health Organization confirms that it is the only region with an increasing trend in pregnancy among girls younger than fifteen years. PAHO cautions that the reduction of teenage pregnancy requires ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including access to family planning information and education. We knew this before the pandemic. And, these issues have been even more critical during the height of the pandemic. The already limited access to sexual and reproductive health, and rights, information and services were further minimized and in some cases made nonexistent and totally inaccessible due to lockdown measures and shifting of funding from those and other programs to COVID19 response. With school closures during the pandemic, girls were severely at risk for early sexual initiation, unintended pregnancy, school dropouts and economic hardship.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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