At least 59 per cent of marriage occurs in Bangladesh when the brides are still in their adolescence.
And the large number of marriages before the brides become adults is causing maternal and child mortality and other health complications.
According to the World Health Organization adolescence spans the age group 10 and 19.
Currently, Bangladesh has 3.6 crore adolescents or over one-fifth of the total population.
According to Directorate General of Family Planning’s maternal and child health data, at least 31 per cent of the adolescents become pregnant before they reach 19.
And 43 per cent of adolescent mothers die due to complicated
‘It seems all the progress and achievements we made are marred by child marriage,’ said DGFP director general Kazi Mustafa Sarwar.
‘We have many challenges but child marriage is the biggest one,’ he said while speaking at a meeting on the health situation of adolescents in Bangladesh at Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Bangladesh auditorium at Mirpur in the capital on Thursday.
Dhaka Family Planning Division organised the meeting.
Kazi Mustafa said that large scale child marriage was taking a toll on national life. ‘The maternal mortality rate and child mortality rate could not be brought down because of child marriage,’ he said.
He said that poverty and lack of social security were the major reasons for the high rate of child marriage in Bangladesh.
‘We are successful in controlling population growth but the child marriage would ruin our achievements,’ he said.
The DGFP data shows that adolescent couples’ 17 per cent unmet need for family planning services is five per cent higher than the national rate of 12 per
And at least 13.2 per cent of the adolescent girls suffer from stunting due to poor nutritional status, 31 per cent suffering from malnutrition and 30 per cent from anemia.
DGFP director for maternal and child health, Mohammad Sharif, said the adolescent health was crucial as the health at this stage leaves great impact on later life of individuals especially on the mothers and children.
He said the adolescents of today would make Bangladesh a developed country and the health and family welfare workers have to work for protecting the future of Bangladesh.
Maternal and child health programme manager Joynal Haque also spoke in the meeting chaired by family planning division director for Dhaka, Braza Gopal Bhowmick.
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