Under 17 pregnant girls at risk of BP

A CLINICIAN says girls who fall pregnant before the age of 18 years are at a higher risk of suffering induced hypertension (blood pressure) and obstructed labour.
Kalomo district medical officer Kenneth Chibwe said girls, who fall pregnant before their bodies fully mature, are also at risk of suffering from Fistula (an abnormal connection between the bladder and the female genitals).
Dr Chibwe said this in Choma during a workshop organised by Safe Motherhood Giving Life (SMGL), a USAID funded project whose objective is to reduce maternal mortality.
Speaking during a presentation on health effects of child marriages, Dr Chibwe said girls who are forced into marriages are at risk of various complications during pregnancy.
“Children who are forced into early marriages risk facing medical complications when they fall pregnant. A girl who falls pregnant between 13 and 17 years is more likely to experience hypertension in pregnancy or even obstructed labour,” Dr Chibwe said.
He revealed that two girls aged 16-years of Kalomo last year, died after suffering from pregnancy induced hypertension.
Dr Chibwe urged parents not to marry girls at a tender age as child marriages are not only a health hazard but retrogressive to the development of the nation.
“Imagine a 14-year-old child getting pregnant and carrying a fellow child! What time will she (victim) go to school and study?
Let us all put a stop to these child marriages,” he said.
The meeting drew 20 participants from Choma and Pemba districts.
First lady Christine Kaseba recently described child marriage as a national crisis and called for Government to introduce a law that will sternly deal with perpetrators of the vice.

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