Premature pregnancy cases on rise in OKHALDHUNGA,NEPAL

Though giving birth to a baby before maturity is hazardous to both the mother and the infant, most of the adolescent girls in the district have become mothers.

A ninth grader student of Madhavpur VDC got married with a bus driver and gave birth to a child few months ago at the age of 14.

Yasoda Magar (16) also was married to a bus driver and bore a child at the age of 16. Similarly, Sarita Katuwal (17) of Thulachhap is at the district hospital for receiving maternity service.

According to doctors, weight of the infant born to an adolescent mother is less than the infant born to an adult woman.

Generally, weight of an infant is 2 to 2.5 kg, but the weight of the infant of an adolescent is less than one kg.

As per the Civil Code, a girl should be at least 18 if she is going to get married with consensus of her guardians while she should be 20 if she wants to marry a man of her own choice.

According to Devraj Bhattarai, secretary, Palapu VDC, early marriage is on the rise in the district due to lack of awareness.

Bhattarai said marriage registration record in the VDC shows that 98 per cent girls below 18 get married annually.

Dr Nabin Lageju at Rumjatar Hospital said vulgar chats and videos on mobile phones increase sex interest in adolescents leading to marriage at an early age.

According to the hospital, usually girls between 14 and 18 go to the hospital for maternity service. Eight underage couples registered their marriage in the Palapu VDC in six months.

Dr Bijaya Shah at Okhaldhunga Community Hospital said adolescent girls are not physically prepared for motherhood. They have also a problem in breast feeding.

Giving birth to a child at early age may cause of the death of the mother.

Shanti Shrish, programme coordinator, Rural Health Development Project, Okhaldhunga, opined that early age pregnancy rate could be reduced by launching awareness programmes among adolescent girls.HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

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