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Adolescent pregnancy rates high in Shuklaphatna

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KANCHANPUR — Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy rates are on the rise in Shuklaphanta Municipality of Kanchanpur as early marriage continues to take place here.

The rate of teenage pregnancy is on the increasing graph as majority of girls here get married early (before 20 years) due to lack of awareness about its disadvantages. Likewise, poverty is another factor promoting early marriage in the municipality.

In a period of past 10 months, among expectant mothers visiting the Pipladi health post, 27 were from the 16-19 years of age group. Health post chief Dilip Singh Saud said only 30 pregnant above 20 underwent safe delivery in the period.

In the corresponding period last year, 26 adolescents delivered their babies in the health post. The case of Jhalari Health Post is not different, as 23 pregnant who arrived here, seeking health check-up were below 20. Most of the teenage mothers are from the ethnic and Dalit communities.

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Uterine-prolapse, birth of an underweight child and other reproductive health-related problems are common in cases of teenage pregnancies.

“A woman who is impregnated underage is likely to give birth to an underweight baby. Such mothers are advised to provide kangaroo mother care for their newborn babies to save them from possible pneumonia and malnutrition, as such babies will have low immune system,” he said.

Most of adolescent pregnant women visiting the health section of the Municipality have been found to be suffering from malnutrition, said Section chief Tirtha Raj Bhatta.

The legal marriage age for girls is above 20, and underage marriage will subject parents to three years in prison.

Approximately 30 percent child marriage is estimated to have taken place in Kanchanpur alone (30 percent girl child marriage, and 10 percent boy child marriage).

Nepal is placed in the third position in child marriage beyond Bangladesh in the first and India in the second in the South Asia.

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President extends good wishes on occasion of Maghe Sankranti

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KATHMANDU— President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended happiness, peace and prosperity to all Nepali sisters and brother at home and abroad on the occasion of the Maghi or Maghe Sankranti.

In a message issued from the Secretariat of the President, President Bhandari has expressed her confidence that this festival would strengthen social unity by promoting mutual understanding among different castes and communities of our society.

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Our festivals have contributed a lot to maintain our Nepali identity by linking geographic, cultural, ethnic and lingual diversities and such festivals have played vital role to make our country known in the global stage, President Bhandari has said in the message.

In a similar message, Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun has said that such festival enhance mutual harmony, tolerance, fraternity and unity among the Nepalis and contribute to conservation and promotion of our indigenous culture.

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