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Nepal struggles with high adolescent fertility rate


Nepalnews
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2022 Jun 24, 18:34, Kathmandu
Representative Image. Photo- Picpedia

The fertility rate among adolescents is found to be high in Nepal.

According to the Child Welfare Division, fertility rate among adolescents (15-19 age group) is 63 percent.

 At an interaction programme on ‘family planning and reproductive health’ organised by the Division here today, Division senior community nursing administration Kabita Aryal said, “Nepal needs to reduce the fertility rate to 30 percent by 2030 as per the Sustainable Development Goals. In Nepal, adolescent fertility rate is high and the province wise data shows that Madhesh and Karnali provinces are ahead of it.”

It is 61 percent in Province 1 while 96 percent in Madhesh, 40 percent in Bagmati, 58 percent in Gandaki, 57 percent in Lumbini, 81 percent in Karnali and 60 percent in the Sudurpaschim.

 Teenage pregnancy poses a high risk to unnecessary health complications among expectant mothers and increases the risk of maternal mortality rate. The chance of dying in adolescent pregnancy is twice high than in 20-24 years of age, according to Aryal.

The existing total fertility rate in Nepal is 2.3 and it was 6.3 in 1976. Increase in marriageable age, use of contraceptive methods, legalization of abortion and the spousal separation are among the factors for reduced fertility rate in the country.

She said the unwanted pregnancies will increase with the decline in the access to and use of contraceptives and this will result in an increase in the number of those undergoing unsafe abortion, thereby increasing the risk on women's health.

According to her it is also necessary to increase the rate of use of modern contraceptive devices. Forty-three per cent of the population uses contraceptives in Nepal at present. The government target is to upscale it to 60 per cent until 2030.

Similarly, it is stated that the offspring and mother will have better health if children are produced in a gap of three years. Senior Nursing Administrator Aryal said the maternal death rate will be reduced by 30 per cent and the infant mortality rate by 10 per cent while giving birth to children in a gap of three years.

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