Alarming teen pregnancy rate recorded in Region 1

Region One’s Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Latchmie Lall

…259 cases documented in 11 months

As teenage pregnancy continues to be of major concern, Region One (Barima-Waini) recorded a whopping 259 cases between the period January 1 and November 30 this year.

During those 11 months, health authorities in that region discovered that of 850 persons living in that area, 259 females between the ages of 12 to 19 were pregnant.

The startling statistics reveal an increase of 70 per cent, to date, when comparing data for the period January to December 2018, where 152 pregnancies were recorded in Region One.

According to Region One’s Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Latchmie Lall, the figure will be higher when accumulating data for this month since it has been brought to her attention that more pregnancies occurred after the end of November in the region.

Region One’s Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Latchmie Lall

Dr Lall noted that the figures garnered in Region One in relation to teenage pregnancy is also fuelled by the large influx of Venezuelan migrants that seek health services there.

“We have seen a very large influx of migrants and daily we are seeing many patients at our hospitals. More and more diagnoses are being made with some of those infections being transferred back into the city,” she said.

The RHO also disclosed that the region’s Maternal and Child Health programme has resulted in more women reaching out to have family planning done.

She stated that this has resulted in a significantly high number of contraceptive implants being used as they seek to curb their “child making” approaches.

“This I must say is mainly from the migrants while all the migrants are being vaccinated so we have had to increase our vaccination programme as it has been very active as it seeks to cater for all the migrants. It doesn’t only cover outlining areas but riverine areas too that are seeing migrants,” Dr Lall said.

Earlier this year, global statistics showed that Guyana has a high rate of adolescent pregnancy in the Caribbean.

In June of this year, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence stated that a recently conducted Situation Analysis Report on Adolescents in Guyana revealed that the fertility rate is above average, especially among Indigenous girls, where there are 74 of every 1000 between the ages 15 and 19 living in Regions One, Seven and Nine becoming pregnant.

At that time, the Minister pointed out that Regions One, Seven and Nine are the burdened areas, where the rate of adolescent pregnancies remains consistently high due to a number of contributing factors, but she maintained that plans are underway to target those factors.