Augusta, GA -
Richmond County's high rate of teen pregnancy has sparked a lot of attention across the state. Now, it's making headlines for changing course. News Channel Six's Dee Griffin has more on how a local Doctor is helping lower what became a growing problem.
As an OB-GYN in Augusta, Dr. Donna Adams Pickett has helped bring thousands of lives into the world. Now, she's come up with the way to help save the youngest of them from a growing problem that has plagued Richmond County for more than two decades. "I had two patients that were under the age of 14 and they were pregnant. I was amazed at their lack of knowledge about what really was happening with their bodies. Both of them shared with me they knew very little about the changes to their bodies and their reproductive states," Dr. Adams Pickett explains.
Per Capita, Richmond County has the leading rate of teenage pregnancy in the state. The rise in teens becoming parents birthed various efforts to increase awareness to decrease the problem. Dr. Donna Adams Pickett answered the call for action and started " Big Sis' Guide To Growing Up" seminars. "It is amazing the amount of disinformation that they pass amongst each other and what I want to do is correct that information and make sure that what they receive is accurate."
She has also written a book that spells out information that may otherwise get erased from various discussions on reproduction. "I was mostly shocked by what they did not know I was mostly shocked by what they were telling each other and the information they were giving each other not only was inaccurate in some cases it was dangerous," she says.
In 2010, the CDC awarded the Georgia Campaign for adolescent power and potential a seven point five million dollar grant to decrease Richmond County's teen pregnancy rate by 10 percent by 2015. Millicent West says the county is on track to complete that goal. West says, "It's down twenty percent actually from 2011 and it continues to show decrease over time."
It's a decrease that's largely due to an increase in community cooperation. "It does take a village to make sure that all of our children grow up in a very healthy, happy, safe environment," concludes Dr. Adams Pickett.
Dr. Adams Pickett's seminar for girls ages 9 to 14 is this Saturday. The session for girls ages 9 to 11 years old is from 10 am until 12 noon. The session for girls ages 12 to 14 years old is from 12:30 pm until 2:30 pm. The seminar is held at the Augusta Women's Health and Wellness Center at 3624 J Dewey Gray Circle Suite #240 in Augusta. The seminar is FREE to the public. Call 706-228-6060 to reserve a seat.