Nepal | May 25, 2020

Malnutrition rife due to early marriage, pregnancy

Himalayan News Service
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Malnutrition in Bajura district

A health worker examining a child suffering from malnutrition in Martadi, Bajura, on Wednesday. The health check up was organised by the Integrated Rural Health Development Training Centre Nepal in coordination with the Ministry of Health. Photo: THT

Bajura, December 14

Lalpura Sanai, 21, of Pandusen VDC is a mother of four in far-flung Bajura district. She gave birth to her first baby a year after she tied the knot at the age of 14.

Sanai said she gave birth to four kids by the age of 21 years as she was unaware of family planning measures. Sanai and two of her children have been the victims of malnutrition due to early marriage, giving birth in early age and lack of adequate nutrition.

Sanai along with her three-month-old daughter and three-year-old son are suffering from severe malnutrition. They are receiving treatment at District Health Office Bajura. “Despite my poor health, I gave birth to four children because I did not have any idea about family planning,” regretted Sanai.

She said she felt weak and dizzy most of the time and attributed her ill health to early marriage as well as giving birth to multiple children at an early age.

Hundreds of Bajura women get married and give birth at an early age, putting their own and their babies’ health in jeopardy. Local health workers said many women faced various health complications at the time of delivery due to premature pregnancy.

Manamati Nepali of Sappata VDC also gave birth to four children by the age of 23 years. Of them, three are normal while one baby passed away and she is suffering from malnutrition.

The population of women giving birth to three to five children before the age of 20 years is extremely high in the district.

According to information officer at District Health Office Ram Chandra Yadav, as many as 682 women under the age of 20 years visited the health facility for parturition service in the last fiscal.

A version of this article appears in print on December 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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