Subsequent Adolescent Pregnancy: Addressing 'Missed Opportunities' in the City of Buenos Aires
Bello, Giselle Marie
Adolescent pregnancy is a recurring topic within global health and international development, and improvements in adolescent pregnancy rates in Latin America have been fairly limited. Within this topic, subsequent adolescent pregnancy and the “missed opportunities” concept indicate an area where the health sector could more easily intervene but seemingly fails to do so. When an adolescent interacts with the health system and receives care for her first pregnancy and childbirth, this presents an ideal opportunity for the health system to present her with information, support, and a contraceptive method. Thus, if an adolescent has a subsequent unplanned or undesired pregnancy within a year and a half of her first, this can potentially be seen as a failure of the health system. This paper looks to understand current efforts within the Argentine public health system related to adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), determine potential gaps in health services working with adolescents, and provide insight into persistently high rates of subsequent adolescent pregnancy. The research concludes that a multiplicity of factors, broadly categorized into institutional and socio-cultural reasons, contribute to persistently high rates of subsequent adolescent pregnancies. The conclusions reached can provide relevant insight for programmatic and policy efforts across urban Latin America.
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