(CMC) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Thursday launched a contest for young people aged 12 to 19 to articulate their vision regarding the problem of adolescent pregnancy in the Americas, including the Caribbean, through such artistic media as painting, drawing, illustration, comics, poetry, stories, videos, and songs.
The contest invites adolescents to express how they visualize the impact of a pregnancy during adolescence, and what countries or decision-makers can do to change this problem.
PAHO said adolescent pregnancy has a profound impact on the development of young people, negatively affecting their educational and employment opportunities. Moreover, the most disproportionately affected are adolescents from lower-income families and from indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.
“What we are trying to do with this contest is to discover how adolescents see this problem, to visualize their opinions and learn about possible solutions from their point of view,” said Dr Sonja Caffe, regional advisor for Adolescent Health.
“Opening up mechanisms for adolescents’ participation, where their voices and viewpoints can be heard, enables the design of strategies that respond to this age group.
“We hope that their creative works will spur continued efforts to address this problem, which puts adolescent girls’ health at risk and makes them more vulnerable to dying in childbirth,” she added.
PAHO said that the contest is open to adolescents of both sexes from the countries of the Americas and that their contributions are to be shared during Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Week—held every September in Latin America and every October in the Caribbean—and through other events and platforms related to the subject.