Child early marriage creates pregnancy problems!

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Moshin Taj
It is heartening to know that, according to Unicef, child marriages in South Asia have halved in the last 25 years. However, in Pakistan, only Sindh has child marriage restraint act whereby the age of marriage has been increased to above 18. No doubt, it is difficult to measure the number of women who died while giving birth in Pakistan. In Pakistan we can see that there is a poor healthcare status of women which is the major reason for the problem of maternal mortality. However, the health facilities concerning pregnancy are too low in Pakistan. There is no reproductive care at Sindh especially. So, a young girl’s body is not ready to bear the burden of pregnancy and child birth. Teenage pregnancy is one of the important causes of infant mortality which is amongst the highest in Pakistan, for 45 out of 1,000 newborns died within first 28 days of life compared to many neighboring countries with lower GDP like Srilanka and Bangladesh that have a lower number of such deaths. On the other hand, it is painful that majority of women have to face the serious problems during their pregnancies. Many women died during pregnancy or child birth because of anaemia. And most of the backward areas of the Balochistan are totally nill maternity care. They lack health professionals and true knowledge about pregnancy. So, maternal mortality remains major public health problem and delivery care utilization remaining low in Pakistan. Lower spending on health care, lack of maternal care facilities in rural areas, early marriages, lack of standard or appropriate maternal care services and low birth weight are some of the main factors contributing to higher maternal mortality. This is the women whose child is always at risk when maternity health is not a priority of a government. Hence, I urge national and provincial governments to implement some laws so we can achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals of 2030 of decreasing infant and neonatal mortality in Pakistan.