3 out of 100 mothers 19 years or below

<p>3 out of 100 mothers 19 years or below<br></p>
Maternal mortality rates in Delhi have increased marginally – from 0.37 per 1,000 live births in 2015 to 0.41 in 2016. In another worrying trend, the percentage of teenage pregnancies has gone up significantly. According to government data, three out of every 100 women (3.10%), who delivered kids in Delhi in 2016, were 19 years and below.
The percentage of women from this age group delivering kids stood at 2.75, 1.93, 2.03 and 2.21 in 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively .

Dr Alka Kriplani, professor and head of obstetrics and gynaecology division at AIIMS, said lack of education and poor knowledge about the use of contraceptive methods is the main reason behind the increase in teenage pregnancy .

“Younger women are at a higher risk of developing anaemia and hypertension if they get pregnant. It increases the risk of mortality too,” she said. Another gynaecologist said that teenagers from sound economic background are able to get abortion done for unwanted pregnancy , but those from poor families often have to carry through the motherhood risking their own life.

‘Some girls do not know how to avoid getting pregnant: sex education is lacking. They may feel inhibited or ashamed to seek contraception services,’ states the World Health Organisation (WHO). It adds that reducing marriage before the age of 18 and creating understanding and support to reduce pregnancy before the age of 20 can help prevent teenage pregnancy .

On the brighter side, the Delhi government’s birth and death registration data shows significant reduction in infant mortality rate (IMR), children who die before turning a year old. IMR in Delhi has gone down from 23.25 per 1,000 live births in 2015 to 21.35 in 2016. It is the lowest since 2009s when IMR was recorded at 18.96, officials said.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, while releasing the data on Wednesday , said 3,79,161 births were registered in Delhi in 2016 compared with 3,74,012 in 2015 and 3,73,693 a year ago. Sisodia said institutional births increased from 84.41% in 2015 to 86.74% in 2016. Age-group of the mother at the time of delivery reveals that in maximum (43.58%) cases, it was 20-24 years followed by 36.52% cases in 25-29 age-group and in 16.8% cases, the age of mother was more than 30 years, the deputy CM said.


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