FIFE had the highest number of pregnant teens under the age of 16 in Scotland in 2009.
The latest statistics issued by the government’s health department for 2009 showed that there were 67 girls under 16 who were expecting a baby – 13 more than in 2008, and the highest number since records started in 1994.
And the Fife rate of 10.1 per 1000 women
in this age category far exceeded the national average of 7.1 per 1000, down from 7.8 in 2008.
The statistics for under 18s and under 20s were also among the worst in the country, beaten only by NHS Tayside for the top spot in the former and by Tayside and Dumfries and Galloway in the under 20s.
Dr Lorna Watson, consultant in public health medicine with NHS Fife, said: “The Fife Sexual Health Strategy Group is actively working to improve services for young people across NHS, education, community services, social work and other agencies.
“Prevention is based upon good quality sex and relationships education (SRE), alongside support from parents and carers, and targeting groups at higher risk of experiencing early pregnancies. We will review future actions in light of this data.
“Recent developments in Fife include a network of young people’s drop-in services across Fife: the Hubs, a young people’s health website, training for staff working with young people on approaching sexual health issues, and work to improve quality of SRE.
“There is also a health psychology pilot for looked after young people and their workers and carers, and development of integrated specialist sexual health services across Fife.
“Resources to support parents and carers are under development.
“It is very important parents, carers and workers discuss with young people the risks and consequences of choices they make in respect of relationships, particularly using alcohol.”