Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem

Last Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2018 (20:31 IST)
Kolkata: Every year, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2 million girls aged under 15 years become pregnant in developing regions.Approximately 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2.5 million girls under age 16 years give birth in developing regions, a report today said.The global adolescent birth rate has declined from 65 births per 1000 women in 1990 to 47 births per 1000 women in 2015.

Despite this overall progress, because the global population of adolescents continues to grow, projections indicate the number of will increase globally by 2030, with the greatest proportional increases in West and Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa.

Additionally, regional differences reveal unequal progress: adolescent birth rates range from a high of 115 births per 1000 women in West Africa to 64 births per 1000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45 births per 1000 women in South-Eastern Asia, to a low of 7 births per 1000 women in Eastern Asia.There are also up to three times more adolescent pregnancies in rural and indigenous populations than in urban populations.

Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem that occurs in high, middle, and low- income countries. Around the world, adolescent pregnancies are more likely to occur in marginalized communities, commonly driven by poverty and lack of education and employment opportunities.

For some adolescents, pregnancy and childbirth are planned and wanted. In some contexts, girls may face social pressure to marry and, once married, to have children. Each year, about 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 years, and 90 percent of births to girls aged 15 to 19 years occur within marriage.

For many adolescents, pregnancy and childbirth are neither planned nor wanted. Twenty-three million girls aged 15 to 19 years in developing regions have an unmet need for modern contraception . As a result, half of pregnancies among girls aged 15 to 19 years in developing regions are estimated to be unintended. (UNI)
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