Article Review: Teen Pregnancy Teen pregnancy is considered an epidemic; this epidemic is a real problem and affects every state in the nation. The state of California has one of the highest rates in the nation. This paper will explain the definition of public and community health and why teen pregnancy is an issue of public health. Along with public health the paper will explain the information available about teen pregnancy on a government level, state level and local levels. Also the paper will detail how each level of governments work together.
Public and Community Health Public and community health is the discipline and skill of caring for and developing the health of specific regions, cities, and states through increasing knowledge, endorsing healthy lifestyles, and study disease and illness prevention. Public and community health mean the same thing. The people who work for the community, police and firemen who help save people are a part of public and community health. Also part of public and community health is motor vehicle safety, community disease prevention programs and many more.
Teen pregnancy is part of public and community health because family planning clinics and programs are part of the community and the main part of the program is to help teens not become pregnant by promoting safe sex. Teen Pregnancy California In December 1995, the California Family Impact Seminar (CAFIS) was given an endowment by The California Wellness Foundation and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation for a teenage pregnancy and parenting data policy planning project (Powell, 1996). The project was created because of the high teen pregnancy amounts in California.
The numbers were the highest among Latino and African American teenagers. The task entailed obtaining data concerning the ability of current statistical information relevant to teenage pregnancy. Additionally, information regarding parenting and recognizing potentials for developing and establishing a process that will improve and encompass a broad scope of data collection, examination, and distribution activities are involved in this. An organization called California’s Adolescent Sibling Pregnancy Prevention Program has been aimed at Latinos in California that have siblings that were teen parents (East, Kiernan, ; Chavez, 2003).
An assessment was performed in 1997-1999 with 1,176 primarily Hispanic 11-17-year-olds (East, Kiernan, ; Chavez, 2003). Those involved in the study had one sibling who was an adolescent parent or was pregnant (East, Kiernan, ; Chavez, 2003). Of these youths 731 were recipients of programs and 445 youths were not receiving any assistance. All assessment members went through an interview process and completed an assessment in the beginning. Nine months later this process was completed again. The analysis of this program resulted in encouraging numbers.
The pregnancy rate showed a decrease by seven percent. Additionally, the study showed that those who never had sex the pregnancy rate was down 16%. On a side note males using protection had increased. National Teen Pregnancy Information Public health surveillance is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in public health practice (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Identifying problems concerning public health can only be accomplished through problem solving.
This information pinpoints problems and identifies how well the program is working in resolving health related issues. If the public health program was unable to resolve health issues then the program would not be effective. The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) monitors maternal and infant mortality (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Additionally, the primary focus of gathering information is to gain knowledge regarding pregnancy and pregnancy death rates of infants, behavior during pregnancy, and the affects of pregnancy.
The major surveillance systems in the Division include the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), the National ART Surveillance System (NASS), and the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). These systems generate a report on a continuous basis. The Department of Reproductive Health observes pregnancy of teens as well as those who are having abortions. The Department of Reproductive Health studies other information on pregnancy as well.
The goal of any of the systems above is to establish health measures to assist in improving the health of women and their infants during pregnancy. Specifically, PRAMS gives information regarding each state to determine a plan of action and evaluate current programs (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Overlapping of Information Each state’s health agencies have a reporting system in place to report to the government concerning health issues that affect their state.
In turn the federal government reports back to the state’s with collective data that demonstrates the effect of the disease or illness. These systems overlap through the information systems that have established. Each agency verifies the data and confirms the validity of the information. These systems monitor the change and warn the states that there have been changes in the areas of prenatal care, breast-feeding, smoking, drinking, and infant health. Conclusion The public health reporting system that monitors teenage pregnancies is just the beginning of the system that monitors pregnancy.
Systems such as PRAMS, NASS, and PMSS generate reports on a continuous basis. This proactive approach to reporting on pregnancies keeps states up to speed on the health of the individuals within the state. The Department of Reproductive Health located within the Center for Disease Control is responsible for the collection, processing, and distribution of public health information, in this case teenage pregnancy specifically. Without this collection of data, then understanding any issues regarding teen pregnancies may never be known.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Data and Statistics. Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/reproductivehealth/Data_Stats/index. htm East, P. , Kiernan, E. , ; Chavez, G. (2003). An evaluation of California’s adolescent sibling pregnancy prevention program. Perspectives of sexual and reproductive health, 35( 2). Powell, M. A. (1996). Teenage pregnancy and parenting: Assessing and addressing California data sources and gaps. Policy briefing roundtable report.