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Chlamydia Campaign Needed Immediately

31 May 2004

Chlamydia Campaign Needed Immediately

Now that the Government is committed to spending $10b on health in the coming year it must address the unacceptably high rates of chlamydia infection among both pregnant women and teenagers, said New Zealand First’s health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

“Chlamydia during pregnancy poses risks to both mothers and babies and infected teenagers risk infertility, ectopic pregnancies and chronic pelvic pain.

“Pregnant women are not currently tested for chlamydia. However research showing an infection rate of more than 12 percent in pregnant women under the age of 25 indicates that it is time that testing for chlamydia became routine, said Mrs Stewart.

“The rapidly increasing number of teenagers being diagnosed should also be ringing warning bells. A public education campaign aimed at 12 to 18 year olds should be mounted using avenues such as television advertising on the music channels, advertisements in the teen magazines and cartoon advertisements shown before teen movies. The information has to be shown where it will be seen.

“The lowering of the drinking age has been suggested as a factor in the number of teenagers having unsafe sex and MPs should support New Zealand First’s proposal to raise the drinking age.

“One thing we can be thankful for is that the Government has dropped its truly idiotic proposal to decriminalise sex between children of similar ages. That would have opened even more of a Pandora’s box,” said Mrs Stewart.


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