KANCHANPUR, Mar 20: Teenage pregnancy rate is on the rise in Shuklaphanta Municipality of Kanchanpur as early marriage continues to take in the district.
The rate of teenage pregnancy is increasing the graph as the majority of girls get married early (before 20 years) due to lack of awareness about its disadvantages. Likewise, poverty is another factor promoting early marriage in the municipality.
In a period of past 10 months, among expectant mothers visiting the Pipladi health post, 27 were from the 16-19 years of age group. Health post chief Dilip Singh Saud said only 30 pregnant above 20 underwent safe delivery in the period.
In the corresponding period last year, 26 adolescents delivered their babies in the health post. The case of Jhalari Health Post is not different, as 23 pregnant who arrived here, seeking health check-up were below 20. Most of the teenage mothers are from the ethnic and Dalit communities. Uterine-prolapse, birth of an underweight child and other reproductive health-related problems are common in cases of teenage pregnancies.
"A woman who is impregnated underage is likely to give birth to an underweight baby. Such mothers are advised to provide kangaroo mother care for their newborn babies to save them from possible pneumonia and malnutrition, as such babies will have a low immune system," he said.
Most of the adolescent pregnant women visiting the health section of the Municipality have been found to be suffering from malnutrition, said Section chief Tirtha Raj Bhatta.
The legal marriage age for girls is above 20, and underage marriage will subject parents to three years in prison.
Approximately 30 percent child marriage is estimated to have taken place in Kanchanpur alone (30 percent girl child marriage, and 10 percent boy child marriage).
Nepal is placed in the third position in child marriage beyond Bangladesh in the first and India in the second in the South Asia. RSS