TIME SERIES ANALYSIS OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY (A CASE STUDY OF GENERAL HOSPITAL, IKOT EKPENE)
Nigeria is a fast developing nation in all aspect of sophistication which should not be limited to building structure but with how people think, reason, feel and understand among their follow human beings. The period of physical, social and psychological development of the child, which extends from the ages of about 13 to 19 years are ordinarily referred to as the teenage years or the period of adolescent. Physically, this period is characterized by rapid growth, development and maturity.
Various endocrine glands are exerting strong influence during these years. A girl is considered to have reached puberty when she has her first menstrual period which usually occurs between the same ages of 12 to 14 years. Socially, children of this age group like adventures and sometimes make approaches to members of the opposite sex for friendship. As they interact with their mates, they admire gangs which they use to taste some items enjoyed by adults such as cigarettes, Marijuana, Alcoholic drinks and sometimes attempt sexual activities.
According to Akimgba (2015), teenage pregnancy is described as pregnancy that occurs during the teenage period (that is between 13 – 19 years of age) regardless of whether the teenager is married or not. Paul (2013) is of the option that all early marriages, from 13 – 20 years in which pregnancy occurs are inclusive in the teenage pregnancy. Mecarthy (2014) opined that teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy which is unplanned and sporadic in the teen year(that is between 13 – 19 years).
Teenage pregnancy is generally regarded by a greater percentage of Nigerians and people all over the world as a grave social and moral problem which often results in shame and distress to the teenager, discrimination against her and illegitimate child for her and the added responsibility and expense to the teenager’s family in particular and the society in general.
In some communities, tribes and societies, where a girl must prove that she is fertile before she can be married by a man, teenage pregnancy might be seen as a moral course of event. A typical example is in Daura Local Government Area of Katsina state, where it is being practiced. In very many other societies in Nigeria, it is seen not only as a social problem but as a taboo as well as family disaster. In other words, teenage pregnancy as perceived by different group of people and communities is informed by the norms and values of the people in question.
In obstetrics, pregnancy in the teenage period is classified under risk because the teenager is not fully matured to undergo the stress of labour as the pelvis is not yet very adequate. The pelvis forms a bong canal through which the foetus must pass during the process of birth. If the pelvis is not mature and adequate, it will be difficult for the baby to pass through during labour. With a pelvis that is not fully developed, the pregnant teenager as she approaches labour is faced with the danger of Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (V V F) and Recto-Vaginal Fistula (RVF), V V F occurs as a result of prolonged and difficult labour and forms an abnormal opening between the bladder and vagina while RVF is an abnormal opening between the rectum and vagina.
In either case, there is leakage of urine or faeces into vagina. These conditions are usually very distressing and uncomfortable to the young woman. Pregnancy at this stage is a burden rather than a joy both to the teenager and her family, probably because it was generally unplanned and sporadic. This is in contrast to a pregnancy that is planned and is received with joy. An adult who is married expect her baby with joy, buys things and waits in anticipation. She keeps herself in good physical and mental condition by going to antenatal clinic in order to have a live baby without complication.