Save The Children Says Thirty Thousand Teenage Children Die From Pregnancy Each Year
Category: Save the Children
According to research from Save the Children, approximately 30,000 teenage girls die of pregnancy or child birth each year which equates to one dying every twenty minutes. This makes childbirth one of the biggest killers of adolescent girls globally. Almost 95 per cent of those deaths take place in the world’s poorest countries and unsurprisingly, girls from poorer families and rural areas are the worst affected. Babies born to teenage mothers also face higher mortality risk, with the mortality rate for babies born to mothers under 20, 30 per cent higher than those born to women aged between 20 to 29.
Access to contraception necessary
Save the Children says the situation could get worse unless young girls in the world’s poorest countries are given better access to family planning methods and contraceptives. In many places, teenagers become pregnant before their bodies are ready and many are discouraged from using family planning or contraception because of social and cultural barriers. In fact, the figures are quite alarming. As many as 214 million women globally who do not wish to get pregnant have absolutely no access to modern contraceptives. This means that many are likely to have unintended pregnancies.
Cultural barriers prevent family planning
Kirsty McNeill an Executive Director of Save the Children UK says it is not acceptable that so many young girls end up dying simply because they do not have access to basic contraceptives such as condoms or the pill because of cultural barriers and myths. Ms McNeill adds that the UK has led the way in making sure these barriers are broken so that young females and women all over the world have the right to decide if and when they get pregnant which is a decision that could ultimately save their lives.
The UK leads the way
The UK has led the world when it comes to family planning for the last few decades. Since 2012 UK aid has assisted as many as 8.5 million women and girls to get access to contraception. This has meant that approximately 2.6 million unwanted pregnancies have been avoided and as many as 3,000 women’s lives have been saved. Additionally, 30,000 still births and 19,000 new born deaths have been prevented says the Department for International Development.
Family planning should be a right
Save the Children is urging the UK government to keep increasing the accessibility of family planning services and to make sure that health services are free, particularly in the world’s poorest countries where barriers to contraception are often the greatest. The charity says family planning should be delivered as part of a full range of sexual and reproductive health services that have their roots in the rights of women and girls.
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