More unwed teen pregnancies

WORRYING: A lack of parental guidance is the root of the problem, says doctor.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE problem of teenagers becoming pregnant out of wedlock has reached worrying levels, with the nation recording  1,048 such cases from January to March last year.

This translates into an average of 12 teen pregnancies a day.

While the figures paint a grim picture, it is even more alarming considering that Malaysia is on track to record its highest number of teen pregnancies in four years.

Statistics by the state Health Department from its Teen Pregnancy Statistics Manual 2012 showed a spike in the number of maternal death among teens, with five cases recorded in the first three months last year, compared with 17 for the whole of 2012.

Data collected from adolescents who sought antenatal care in hospitals showed that 18,847 teen pregnancies were recorded in 2012, of whom 4,183 were unmarried.

Family Health Development division assistant deputy director Dr Nik Rubiah Nik Abdul Rashid said while there were many factors that contributed to unwanted teen pregnancy, lack of parental guidance was identified as the root of the problem.

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