UN warning over millions of teenage mothers


A pregnant student poses on July 29, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa at the Pretoria Hospital School, which specialises in teaching pregnant teenagersAround 7.3 million girls under the age of 18 give birth each year in developing countries, risking death and suffering that can only be addressed by changing social attitudes, a UN report said Wednesday. Most are in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with one in 10 girls in Bangladesh, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Mozambique and Niger reporting having a child before the age of 15, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said. The UNFPA warned that this is a "huge global problem" that demands attention — but urged governments and civil groups to realise that the girls are not solely responsible. Issues of poverty, poor education, a lack of contraceptive advice and the practice of child marriage — nine out of 10 adolescent births occur within a formal union — all play their part, as does sexual violence.