Early marriage rampant in Lamjung

Lamjung, July 24

Data maintained at District Community Hospital, Lamjung, show that 31 per cent women availing parturition service in the district in the last fiscal were below 20 years of age.

As per data, 1,190 women approached the health facility for parturition service in the fiscal 2017-18 and 363 of them were below 20 years of age.

Likewise, of the 1,202 women receiving parturition service in fiscal 2016-17, a total of 225 were below 20 year old. Of the 1,225 women receiving parturition in the fiscal 2015-16, a total of 256 were below 20 years, data at the hospital showed.

The trend of early marriage has been unabated despite awareness efforts of the District Public Health Office and District Community Hospital. They have been regularly conducting awareness campaigns related to infant and maternal safety in the rural areas of the district.

According to gynaecologist Sirjana Hamal at District Community Hospital, youths have to be made aware about possible health hazards due to early marriage through the school curriculum. “Even a 14-year-old girl approaches a health facility for parturition. This is a serious health issue,” said Chief Administrative Officer Yubaraj Devkota.

The health facility said that girls from Dalit communities and Indigenous nationalities tie the knot early and become pregnant.

“Women have sound health and good immunity if they conceive at the age of 20 to 35 years,” said Ram Maya Thakuri, nursing chief at the health facility. If women become pregnant before 19 years of age and after 35, they have to confront various health hazards, Thakuri said.

According to safe maternal and infant health focal persons under Lamjung DPHO, as many as 669 women health volunteers were mobilised to spread awareness in four municipalities and rural municipalities in the district. “We took the support of women health volunteers to spread messages of various health hazards for both the mother and infant,” said DPHO Lamjung Chief Keshav Prasad Chapagain.

Meanwhile, District Community Hospital Emergency Ward Officer Ganesh Gurung said only 41 per cent women received parturition service in the district in the last fiscal, of them, 30 per cent availed the service from the community hospital.