By IZAM AKUBEN JOSEPHINE
Teenage Pregnancy has become a big issue in this present day. The lives of teenagers are altered and sometimes ridiculed. These teens tend to face trauma and other emotional problems, most times due the moral values of the parents of these teens who tend to isolate or abandon their children.
This might lead to them fending for themselves, and growing too fast. Most of them drop out of school and watch their mates excel in their education while they stay home and fend for themselves and their baby.
They get discriminated, people look down on them and some tend to go as far throwing foul words at them, and this only adds to their problems. Instead of insulting them, people should offer help or emotional support to these girls when it happens.
Factors that can lead to teenage pregnancy include peer association, ignorance, the society and rape among others.
These young girls have not reached adulthood and the causes of teenage pregnancy vary greatly. Teenage pregnancy may be linked to lack of education and information about reproduction, peer pressure and early engagement in sexual activity by these young girls, who do not know the implication of the actions they are taking.
There are additional concerns for those under the age of 13 as they are less likely to be physically developed to sustain a healthy pregnancy or to give birth. There are also risks of low birth weight, premature labour, anemia, pre eclampsia, which are connected to biological age.
In addition to the high rate of postpartum depression, teenage mothers have higher rates of depression. They also have higher rate of suicidal ideation than their peers who aren’t mothers. Teen mothers are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. And many times the men responsible deny responsibility.
The National Council for Women Society has set a new target to intensify the fight against unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls. Also teenage pregnancy calls for a holistic approach, but the primary responsibility lies with the parents.
If parenting is taken seriously and every parent plays their role, girls will fully be empowered not to fall into a trap of risky sexual behaviour that could lead to unwanted pregnancy. Parent should be close to their children. Apart from these, parents should as a matter of necessity embrace community family meetings. These meetings will provide a platform to empower parents on how best to better educate their children and avoid risky behavior.
To reverse this trend parents should put more effort in parenting, while the authorities concerned should also take punitive measures against men who lure young girls into sex in exchange of gifts.
In addition to prevent teenage pregnancy, teenagers need to have a comprehensive understanding of abstinence, contraceptive techniques, and consequences.
The government should also make an effort to support pregnant girls in their education, and also give them a comprehensive sex education. It will really help in the lowering of dropout rates.
Lastly the task to prevent teenage pregnancy should not be left to few actors; the magnitude of the issue and its possible ramifications calls for everyone’s involvement.
Izam Akuben Josephine, is a student of Mass Communication from the Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State.