Eight teenagers between 11 and 14 gave birth last year – Health Minister
March 15, 2013
Eight teenagers between 11 and 14 gave birth last year – Health Minister

The high rate of teenage pregnancy here continues to be a cause for concern for officials of the Ministry of Health.{{more}}

Minister of Health Clayton Burgin, at a sitting of Parliament, on Monday said that based on statistics from the perinatal conference held on February 22 this year, the teenage pregnancy rate stood at 17.9 per cent.

He also revealed that of the teenage births last year, eight were to girls between the ages of 11 and 14 years old.

“A coordinated effort is needed to tackle this problem,” Burgin said.

“It will require the active input of every sector of society to correct this problem,” he continued.

The conference, however, revealed some positive results recorded in 2012, with regard to perinatal care, the minister explained.

One such being a further decline in the child mortality rate, which in 2012, was 7.44 out of 100 births.

This compared to 11.5 per 100 recorded in 2011 and 15.4 in 2010.

Burgin attributed the improvement in the statistics to the staff and government policy.

The still birth rate continues to fall, going from 20.3 per 1,000 births in 2011 to 14.6 in 2012 Burgin stated, as having come out of the conference; this, he said, was attributed to the implementation of a neo-natal intensive care unit.

Perinatal mortality rates were at the lowest since 2007, standing at 22.05 per 1,000 births; the numbers for 2010 and 2011 were 33.8 and 31.9 respectively.

There was a recorded increase in congenital anomalies, or infants born with defects rising from 13 in 2011 to 21 in 2012.

According to Burgin, the maternal and child health committee are currently discussing the use of folic acid for mothers, as a means of decreasing congenital anomalies.

There was one maternal death recorded in 2012. (DD)