|Pregnancy Complications, Child Birth Leading Cause of Death among 15-19 Year Old Girls - UNFPA Chief|
TEHRAN, 8 July 2013 (UNIC)—United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in his message on World Population Day, 11 July 2013 said about 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.
The full text of his message reads:
There are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. They are shaping humanity’s present and future. The opportunities and choices girls have during adolescence will enable them to begin adulthood as empowered, active citizens.
With the right skills and opportunities, they can invest in themselves, in their families and their communities. However, pregnancy jeopardizes the rights, health, education and potential of far too many adolescent girls, robbing them of a better future.
About 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.
Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it is a development issue. It is deeply rooted in poverty, gender inequality, violence, child and forced marriage, power imbalances between adolescent girls and their male partners, lack of education, and the failure of systems and institutions to protect their rights. To bring these issues to global attention, this year’s World Population Day is focusing on adolescent pregnancy.