Ramji Rana, The Himalayan Times, November 28, 2019
LAMJUNG: Eighteen percent of women are delivering children before they reach 19 years of age in Lamjung district, as per the statistics of health institutions.
According to Lamjung District Community Hospital, among those who come to deliver at the health facility, about 18 percent are under the age of 19. The district community hospital further stated that those who deliver before 19 are found to have married between the age of 16 to 18.
The District Health Office and District Community Hospital have been carrying out awareness programmes advising girls not to get married at an early age. Despite which, the practice of early marriage has continued in the district creating a challenge for the Aama Surakshya Karyakram (Aama Programme) implemented country-wide by Family Health Division under the Health Ministry.
Women’s health will be negatively impacted if they get married at a very young age and give birth during adolescence, said administrative chief at the district community hospital, Hemanta Shrestha. Mostly, women from the Dalit and Janajati communities, in rural areas of the district, get married at a young age, stated the health facility.
Ram Maya Thakuri, nursing chief at the hospital, suggested that pregnancy is favourable for women between the age of 20 to 35. However, there are several risks facing women’s health including a threat to their lives if women conceive and deliver before and after this age group.
The hospital statistics show that in the current fiscal year 2076/77, from the Nepali month of Shrawan to Kartik, out of 327 deliveries, 53 mothers were below the age of 20.
Likewise, out of 1,011 women who came for maternity services at the hospital during the fiscal year 2075/76, 183 were under 20. On similar lines, 363 were under the age of 20 out of 1,190 mothers who delivered during the fiscal year 2074/75.