The number of teenagers falling pregnant in Wigan has fallen to its lowest rate for the fourth year running.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), results show that 153 girls under the age of 18 became pregnant in 2013.
That amounts to a total drop of 157 pregnancies over the last 10 years.
Professor Kate Ardern, director for public health at Wigan Council, said: “In the past, teenage pregnancies in the borough have been among the highest in England, so it’s encouraging to see these numbers decline.
“I think this is down to the excellent provision we have to help support young people. Our modernised sexual health service offers a wide range of support.
“A doctor is available at all clinics, which opens six days a week and patients are guaranteed an appointment within 48 hours. Brook is also open across the borough seven days a week.”
The figures also show that the pregnancy rate in the Wigan Borough is lower than the average for Greater Manchester and the North West.
There has been a 49% decrease from the 1998 baseline, which is better than the England average.
Professor Ardern also mentioned the importance of reducing teenage pregnancies as a method of ‘tackling wider issues such as child poverty and social exclusion’.
Sexual health services are also available at the walk-in-centre in Leigh, GP practices, pharmacies and through the colleges.
Councillor Joanne Platt, cabinet member for children and young people at Wigan Council, said: “Wigan Council works hard to ensure children and young people are educated about sexual health and have access to the services available.
“Our aim is to help young people make safe and healthy choices about sex and relationships.
“The latest figures show that we’re making good progress towards this goal and we will continue to educate and support young people to ensure they are able to make informed decisions about their future.”
If residents have any sexual health concerns they can contact the SHINE Integrated Sexual Health Services on 01942 483188. Those aged under 25 can call Brook on 01942 483180 or visit www.brook.org.uk/wigan-and-leigh
Image courtesy of Trevor, with thanks.