site.btaTeenage Pregnancy Rate in North Macedonia Is Threefold Higher than European Average
The rate of unplanned teenage pregnancy in the Republic of North Macedonia is almost three times higher than in European countries. Latest data shows that the youngest girl who had an abortion was 13 years old, and the youngest woman who gave birth in the country was of the same age.
Only 12.8% of young couples under the age of 29 use modern contraceptives. The budget for free modern contraception for girls and women in vulnerable situations provided by the country's preventive programme for mothers and children has increased from MKD 100,000 in 2022 to MKD 500,000 this year, but only women living in Skopje receive free contraception, and only through the University Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and yet none of the few available modern contraceptives in the country is on the positive list of drugs, Telma TV reported.
Research shows that 36% of boys and 3% of girls at the age of 15 have already had sexual experiences. However, only 20% of girls and 62% of boys among the Albanian population and 64% of boys and 52% of girls among the Macedonian population use protection during sexual contact, which means that all other relationships are risky, said Vesna Matevska, programme manager at the HERA Health Education and Research Association in North Macedonia.
HERA noted that the state should register the drugs for medical abortion as soon as possible and every year increase the budget for their procurement through the preventive programme for mothers and children, so that women outside of Skopje can also use this health service.