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Introduction: Every year it is estimated that about14 million adolescent girls give birth globally with the highest rate 143 per1000 girls aged 15 - 19 years in the sub-Saharan Africa. Babies born toadolescent mothers are at greater risk and are far more likely to die thanthose born to older women. This study therefore sets out to describe the healthcare seeking behaviors in a cohort of teenage mothers attending an Under-FiveClinic in a densely populated section of Freetown, Sierra Leone with a view ofdetermining the impact of their behavior on the survival of their children. Methodology: This is a descriptively cross sectional and prospective study that involvedfour hundred and six mothers attending the Under-Five Clinic in the Eastern endof Freetown using semiclosed ended questionnaire which were interviewers administeredbetween 1st and 29th July 2011. Result: The age of thestudy population ranged between 12 and 45 years, with a mean of 24.8 ± 6.3years. Of the four hundred and six, eighty nine 21% were teenagers less than20 years with a majority 60.6% of them being between 18 and 19 years old.Concerning the 89 teenage mothers in the study population, the majority 95.5% did not possess the secondary schooleducation, 42.7% were petty traders and more than a half of them 61.8% weremarried. The mothers were rated low in all the activities geared towards childsurvival except immunization. In addition there was a delay in the initiationof complementary feeds which were also of poor quality. Fewer percentages ofthe mothers who had antenatal care in the hospitals delivered there. Conclusion: This study has revealed that early marriage is still common in Sierra Leone.Also the teenage mothers did not engage fully in a majority of activities thathave been proven to contribute to the survivalof babies in the Tropics thereby making their children vulnerable tomalnutrition, measles and diarrhoeal diseases. It was recommended that thecountry should use recognised teenage programs aimed at urgently addressing areduction in teenage pregnancy especially by improvingthe provision of education-vocational studies for the girl child.

KEYWORDS

Teenage Pregnancy; Under-Five Mortality; Freetown

Cite this paper

Runsewe-Abiodun, T. and Bondi, S. 2013 Teenage pregnancy and implications on child survival amongst mothers attending a clinic in the East-End, Freetown, Sierra Leone. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 3, 294-299. doi: 10.4236-ojped.2013.34053.





Autor: Tamramat I. Runsewe-Abiodun, Sahr F. Bondi

Fuente: http://www.scirp.org/



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