Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Under-aged pregnancy a problem in Papua New Guinea

MORE than seven million girls under 18 years old give birth every year, a United Nations report says.
The State of World population 2013 report, released yesterday in Port Moresby by the United Nations Population Fund, says it is becoming a big problem, especially in developing countries.
The report says out of the 7.3 million births, two million are from girls 14 years old or younger, who suffer the gravest long-term health and social consequences from pregnancy. 
“An estimated 70,000 adolescents in developing countries die each year from complications during pregnancy and childbirth,” it says. 
UNFPA executive director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin said too often society blames the girls for getting pregnant. “The reality is that adolescent pregnancy is most often not the result of a deliberate choice, rather the absence of choices and circumstances beyond a girl’s control,” Osotimehin said. 
“Girls who become pregnant before the age of 15 in low and middle-income countries have doubled the risk for maternal death and obstetric fistula than older women in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.”
The report stated that every year in developed countries, there are 680,000 births to adolescent mothers, with nearly half occurring in the United States. 
While the report concludes that adolescent pregnancy is a much bigger challenge in the developing world than in developed countries, it finds that it is still a significant issue in the latter.