Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Globally and North Africa (56), and East

there is lack of data necessary to draw accurate portraits of pregnancy among
adolescents worldwide. Sedghet al.,
(2015) identify only 21 countries with complete statistics on pregnancy and
birth outcomes among adolescents (including live births, spontaneous abortions,
and induced abortions). Nevertheless, available birth data shows great
differences in the rates and prevalence of pregnancy between regions and
countries. The average rate of teenage births ranges from the highest in
Sub-Saharan Africa (143 per 1000 adolescent females), followed by the Americas
(68), the Middle East and North Africa (56), and East and South Asia and the Pacific
(56), to the lowest rates in Europe (25) 
(WHO, 2004). Regional comparisons, while useful in indicating broad
geographical patterns, do not reveal the wide disparities in adolescent
pregnancies between and within countries resulting from their particular
socio-political and cultural contexts.In Sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent birth
rates are 45 per 1000 teenagers in Mauritius, and 229 in Guinea (Sedghet al., 2015) In the Americas, the rate
is 24 per 1000 in Canada, and 133 per 1000 in Nicaragua (Sedghet al., 2015). The Middle East and
northern parts of Africa, the eastern and southern parts of Asia, and the
Pacific regions have the same average rates, including highs of 115 and 122 in
Bangladesh and Oman, respectively, a low of 4 in Japan, and 18 in Tunisia (WHO,
2004). In Southeast Asia, rates of teen pregnancy vary as widely as
approximately 88 in Laos, 64 in Timor Leste, and 22 in Singapore. Europe has
the lowest average, with four in Switzerland and 43 in Romania (Sedghet al., 2015). In general, these
differences in adolescent birth rates are associated with broad measures of
national economic well-being. Currently, upwards of 95% of all births to
adolescents occur in low and middle-income countries. Worldwide there are
striking similarities in the negative social, economic, and health outcomes
associated with childbearing teens. Although adolescents account for about
one-tenth of births internationally, they suffer almost one-fourth of the total
incidence of poor health outcomes associated with pregnancy and childbirth
(WHO, 2016). Physical diseases such as anemia, malaria, HIV, and sexually
transmitted diseases, as well as postpartum hemorrhaging, obstetric fistula,
and the risk of maternal death, are all associated with childbearing youths.
Additionally, young mothers are at heightened risk for mental health disorders
such as depression in comparison to women who bear children at an older age
(WHO, 2004). Younger women are also more likely to smoke and ingest alcohol
during pregnancy, and thus to experience pre-term labour. Adolescent
childbearing poses risks to their offspring, including an elevated risk for low
birthweight and asphyxia (WHO, 2004). Children of teen mothers are also at
heightened risk for physical abuse and other conditions that carry long-term
developmental consequences, as well as other health-related risks that can
affect their overall well-being (WHO, 2004).


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