Number of teenage mothers on the rise

Number of teenage mothers on the rise

DİYARBAKIR - Anatolia News Agency
Number of teenage mothers on the rise

Hürriyet Photo

Some 1,286 girls under the age of 18 have given birth to children in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Maternity and Children Hospital in the last two years.

According to data collected from Diyarbakır Maternity and Children Hospital, a total of 1,286 girls under the age of 18 have become mothers since 2010. In 2010 573 girls gave birth with a slight drop in numbers noticed in 2011 when 520 girls had a child. For the first eight months of 2012 there have been 193 girls recorded as giving birth. Approximately 20,000 births take place at the hospital each year, with an average of 20 births recorded by girls age 13.

Diyarbakır’s Maternity and Children Hospital provides services for the region overall and services patients from the eastern provinces of Van, Bitlis, Hakkari and Muş who come to the hospital for treatment, Dr. Yunus Çavuş, a hospital staff member, told Anatolia news agency. The hospital has 430 beds, according to Çavuş, who added that about 20,000 births occur annually at the hospital, which has provided service since 2009.

Early marriages and births are frequently seen within the region, Çavuş said. He said adolescence was a transitional stage from childhood to adulthood, covering children between the ages of 10 and 19. He said adolescent pregnancy was frequently seen within the region as a result of the low marriage age.

Çavuş indicated that an adolescent gives birth at the hospital almost everyday, and that they usually come from rural areas.

“Since early marriages are widespread in the region, early pregnancies are often seen. This is a serious problem. Those experiencing pregnancy at a young age generally come from lower education and socio-economic backgrounds. Antenatal care is very restricted. Since the patients are very young they cannot come to routine pregnancy examinations. The patient can only come when she is about to give a birth. We often come across critical cases that could be life-threatening,” Çavuş said.