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Juntos Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Latinas in Rural Kansas
Teen pregnancy is a public health concern that has serious implications in teen’s lives and the community where they live. The problem is accentuated in underserved communities such as rural areas with high concentration of Latinos. In Liberal Kansas, for instance, teen pregnancy rates are very high, sometimes 3 times higher than the national average. In an effort to address this social and health disparity, Dr. Barral at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Dr. Cupertino at Juntos are leading a study addressing teen pregnancy among Latinas in rural Kansas. This past Monday, the study leaders and Juntos staff Brenda Cartujano (Medical student from Mexico) Ramiro Diaz, and Mariana Ramírez, traveled to Dodge and Liberal City to conduct a series of focus groups with high school and college students as part of the study.
Maria Hernandez at the Migrant Program at Dodge City High School in coordination with Arturo Ponce at Juntos welcomed the team and introduced them to a group of adolescents willing to participate in the focus group sessions. In addition, the team conducted in-depth interviews with college students at Sedgwick County Community College. The goal of the groups and the interviews is to get a better insight into the knowledge, believes and attitudes teenagers have around teen pregnancy, contraception and sexual activity. These sessions are part of a larger bi-national study looking at teen pregnancy in the US and Mexico.
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