Written by: Eric Opa Doue, Rivercess County
A Certified Midwife (CM) at the Timbo Compound Clinic in River Cess County, Madam Marlin Wahmah says teenage pregnancy is on the increase. Speaking recently to Local Voices Liberia, Madam Wahmah said six or seven out of every ten pregnant women visiting the clinic are less than 18 years.
When asked about what is being done by the county health team to curtail the situation, she said the Officer –in- Charge (OIC) of the clinic Ms. Jallah Saygbe is currently conducting health education at various schools in the district. But she fears more need to be done to curb the challenge.
“Even with the education at the schools by the OIC there are more students dropping from schools due to pregnancy,” she lamented. “Many times we referred them to the hospital, St Francis, because they are not mature and we don’t want to manage them here.”
Meanwhile, the Reproductive Health Supervisor (RHS) of Rivercess County, Madam Ruth Kpeinkpa said efforts are being exerted by the CHT to reduce teenage pregnancy to at least 20% in Rivercess. “We are now educating parents and the little girls on the advantages of family planning,” Mrs. Kpeinkpa told Local Voices Liberia.
“Even though some parents are rumoring that “Family Planning” is intended to perpetually stop women from baring children, others are bringing their kids for family planning,” she added.
Madam Kpeinkpa interestingly disclosed that maternal death has drastically reduced since this 2015.
She said Trained Traditional Midwives (TTMs) in the county are now taking pregnant women to health facilities for delivery. “At least 90% are no longer conducting home Delivery, because this was the major cause of maternal death,” Kpeinkpa stressed.
She attributed the progress to the numerous awareness and training given the TTMs by the County Health Team.
Rivercess County experienced a number of maternal deaths in 2013 and 2014 respectively and during these years, more than 13 women died in 2013 and 4 in 2014 during child birth. With these stats, it became scaring and challenging for several health care workers involved with maternal health in the county.
Since 2015, local media reports in the county confirmed that only one maternal death occurred in early May in Zoley Town, Rivercess County.