Teenage Pregnant Girls and the Rate of Antenatal Clinic (ANC) Attendance in Bo Town, Sierra Leone
AbstractTeenage pregnancy is one of the serious Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) issues in developing countries including Sierra Leone. It is believed that teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leonean communities is becoming a public health problem because it is presently contributing to a lot of health-related issues including maternal and child mortalities, serious maternal complications (e.g. fistulae) among others.
This study was a cross-sectional retrospective record review of antenatal registers from January to December 2016 at three functional community health centres in Bo town. These include the Teaching Health Centre at the Korwama location of the Bo Campus- Njala University, the Yemoh Town Community Health Centre and the Police Community Health Centre at the Eastern Police Barracks.
It involved the identification of all teenage pregnant girls attending the ANC for the first time, from antennal registers. A total number of 100 teenage pregnant girls were identified in the ANC registers from the three PHUs, focusing on the ages and the gestational periods at the first ANC visit.
The study found out that close to 50% of the pregnant teenagers made their first visit at the gestational period very close to the third trimester of the pregnancy. It was also found that 5% of these teenage girls only attended one ANC clinic in the whole pregnant period. In addition, more than 50% of the teenage pregnancies were between the ages of 17 and 18 years. The study also detected that 11% of the victims are pregnant for the second or third time.
From this study, is apparent that teenage pregnant girls delay their first visit to the ANC. As such, risks related to the pregnancies will be either detected very late or not detected at all.