Organon Introduces Strategy to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy
Pharmaceutical company Organon, the National Population Council (CONAPO), the Mexican Youth Institute (IMJUVE) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) signed an agreement to launch a pilot project to prevent teenage pregnancies in Mexico City’s municipality Xochimilco. Mexico has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all OECD countries, with a fertility rate of 77 births per 1,000 teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age.
Organon, a spin-off of MSD, focuses on psychiatry, reproductive medicine, contraception and anesthesia, among other specialties. “Organon is always focused on positively impacting the places it is present in. Reproductive health, being at the center of our work, is something that we try to promote at our six plants so it only made sense for us to begin this project in Xochimilco,” said Kevin Ali, CEO, Organon, during the signing agreement event.
Mexico City reports a rate of 38.6 births per 1,000 teenagers. The Xochimilco municipality is the second largest of the city, with about 81 births per 1,000 teenagers. “The teen years are for one to explore one’s talents and identity, not to gain a lifetime responsibility. CONAPO’s ‘I decide my future and that of my community’ campaign tries to, precisely, give teenagers the right tools and information to have the agency to decide their best future,” explained Gabriela Rodríguez, Secretary General, CONAPO.
Equal access to information, education and contraceptive methods for reproductive health has been a work in progress in Mexico. Rodríguez explained that the contraceptive methods best known by Mexican women are the male condom (89.5 percent), the IUD (87.2 percent), the contraceptive implant (86.8 percent), coitus interruptus (80.7 percent) and the morning-after or emergency contraception pill (78.4 percent). “Nonetheless, efforts and investment need to continue as fertility rates are still significantly high,” Rodriguez said.
This project is strongly supported by local voices and leaders, such as local deputy Alejandra Méndez, who highlighted the inequality rates in Xochimilco and its strong need to pay more attention to “Mexico’s future: the young.”
The alliance is set to begin this year and, in the course of two years, impact the 35,000 adolescents living in Xochimilco. “We will measure the results and impact of this first effort to then be able to scale it at a national level and continue focusing on this important matter for Mexico’s society,” said Alanna Armitage, Representative Mexico, Cuba and Dominican Republic, UNFPA.