February 6, 2009
Teen pregnancies worrying – Sister

by Omesha Spence 06.FEB.09

Training of staff nurses, better facilities and a more efficient team are what is expected in 2009 from the nurses and other staff of the Maternity, Pediatric and Obstetrical Wards at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).{{more}}

Speaking at the 13th annual Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity Conference on Friday, January 30, 2009, Departmental sister of the Maternity Ward, Sister Faustina Ballantyne, delivered the Maternity Ward’s statistics for the 2007-2008 year.

While noting that there were successful healthy births, Ballantyne expressed that the ward did encounter several problems, some of which included medical risk patients becoming pregnant, mothers not attending antenatal treatments and the shortage of staff. “The work load gets greater as the staff gets smaller,” she said.

Ballantyne explained that the reason for the shortages is the fact that nurses retire or they leave the MCMH Maternity Ward to get better training elsewhere.

Ballantyne also related that another major concern for the ward in 2008 was teenage pregnancies and the pregnancies of persons who are HIV positive. While having 100 percent success in healthy births for HIV positive, Ballantyne shared her concerns about teenage pregnancies. Although the rate decreased from 2007, a total of 366 teenage girls became pregnant, with 286 births coming from girls in the 17-19 age group and three 13-year-olds in the 10-14 age group.

“This tells us that our young ladies are not going in for higher learning; they have decided to take a different diploma,” She said.

Giving critical commentary on the subject, Dr. Betzabe Butron Riveros, Pediatric and Public Health specialist of PAHO, said that the hospital should be concerned about the rate of teenage pregnancy. “Whenever you have a teen pregnant, consider it a red flag,” she said. Riveros suggested that more counseling needs to be done, and information needs to be provided on preventative options such as usage of contraceptives.

Riveros also suggested a computerized system of collecting data to replace the system at the MCMH, as well as consultation with patients’ private doctors to get critical information. Riveros, who stated that the hospital doesn’t have a lot of deliveries compared to places like America, stated that a computerized system would make statistics more accurate.

The meeting also included commentary and review of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Ward and the Pediatrics Department of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (OS)