Canada: Efforts to Reduce STDs Not Paying Dividends Yet
October 30, 2007
On Monday a quarterly report released by the Atlantic Health Sciences Corp. showed no major progress in efforts to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and STDs among those under age 25 in Charlotte County. AHSC submitted the report at the health region's monthly board meeting.
From July 1 to Sept. 30, 8.33 percent of county births were to teen mothers, compared with 9.18 percent for 2006-07. Last year's teen birth rate was the highest in five years, and this quarter's rate was the lowest in five years. The year's figures could fluctuate, said Dora Nicinski, CEO and president of AHSC. However, it could also be a sign the new sexual health clinic and Public Health nurse counseling are working, she added.
During the quarter, there were seven chlamydia cases, one hepatitis C report, and one herpes diagnosis among those under age 25 in Charlotte County. That is an increase from four chlamydia reports for last quarter. Twelve STD diagnoses were reported in that age group in 2006-07.
"Charlotte County had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the region, and that was the area we targeted to reduce," Nicinski said. "Charlotte County had a higher rate of [STDs], so what we were looking to do is reduce the rate, and at this point we haven't achieved that." "We have the public health program working on education around STDs," she said. "We have to keep working at it. It takes a long time for communication, for messages, to come through."