TEENAGE pregnancies have fallen in Wirral.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) looks at how many 15 to 17-year-old girls fell pregnant across England and Wales in 2008.
In Wirral teenage pregnancies have fallen by 21% compared with 1998 figures, achieving a Government target of reducing pregnancies by 20%.
The national average was a 13.9% fall in teenage pregnancies.
In 2008, the most recent year for which details are available nationally, there were 249 teenage conceptions in Wirral, which equates to 40 per 1,000 females aged between 15 and 17.
Julia Hassall, chair of Wirral Teenage Pregnancy Steering Group and head of branch for Children’s Social Care, at Wirral Council, said: “The improvement is really encouraging, and reflects the continued commitment of organisations working with young people across Wirral, to reduce the teenage conception rate and prevent unplanned pregnancy.
“The recommendations made in the refreshed national strategy will support us to further strengthen our plans to address the underlying risk factors that may lead to teenage parenthood.”
In 1999, the Government set a target to halve the number of young women becoming pregnant by 2010.
Despite seeing a year on year increase since 2003, health bosses say Wirral is now showing signs of being able to reverse the trend.
Marie Armitage, joint director of public health at NHS Wirral, added: “It is extremely pleasing to see this reduction as we know that most young women become pregnant unintentionally and it can have a damaging effect on their future and the life chances of the child.
“This success has been achieved through determination and hard work by all our agencies to provide a better deal for young people in Wirral. “However, there is still more work to be done.”