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Worries over young mums; HEALTH: Borough bucking trend on teen pregnancies.

Byline: By Tony Collins

TEENAGE girls in Solihull are undermining the Midland's success in reducing the number of pregnancies among under 18-year-olds.

A breakdown of regional figures published today reveals that the biggest declines in teenage pregnancy rates across the country can be found in the West Midlands.

Overall, the conception rate for girls aged 15 to 17 in the region fell by almost 13 per cent between 1998 and 2004, compared to the figure of 11.2 per cent for England as a whole.

The number of teenage pregnancies in the West Midlands has fallen from 51.7 per 1,000 girls in 1998 to 45 two years ago.

But while Walsall reduced its pregnancy rate by more than a quarter and Staffordshire by exactly a fifth, Solihull has seen its figure rise by 7.2 per cent over the same six-year period, from 40.3 conceptions per 1,000 girls to 43.2 in 2004.

A spokeswoman for Solihull Borough Council said: "Whilst figures released today show that the borough experienced a peak in 2004, we are pleased that the initial figures for 2005 show that we are back on target to continue our overall downward trend.

"We are working hard with a wide range partners including schools, youth service and the primary care trust to ensure that all of our young people have a clear understanding and sense of responsibility, ensuring that they are able to make informed decisions."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 22, 2006
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