The World Population Day is observed by the United Nations on July 11 every year. The focus this year is on adolescent pregnancy.
The earth appears to be overburdened with the growing population and the carbon footprints left by each person. Population control has been a major failure in several countries the world over. The condition in India is particularly grim, with the country set to overtake China as the world's most populous country in just a few years. A question that we will probably have to ask ourselves is whether our country has the resources to take care of this population.
AdvertisementThis year, the United Nations will focus on one aspect to control the population growth - Adolescent Pregnancy.
According to the United Nations, around 16 million girls under the age of 18 years give birth every year.
Controlling adolescent pregnancy does not mean urging the adolescents to undergo abortion. Adolescent pregnancy can only be controlled through adequate education and use of birth control measures.
Adolescent pregnancy affects both the mother as well as the fetus. Some girls try to undergo unsafe abortions, which could put their lives in danger. Yet others may suffer from complications during childbirth. The child may also suffer from low birth weight and other problems.
In some countries, adolescent pregnancies are due to sexual activity at an early age. However, the picture is different in developing countries. Many of these pregnancies happen in children who are married before the age of 18 years. Though India has banned such marriages, it is a fact that they continue to take place in some areas and rob children of their childhood.
Adolescent pregnancies can be controlled to some extent through education and easily availability of contraceptive methods. Sex education is necessary for all teenage girls. Besides, the community also has to be educated on the evils of child marriage and the necessity for every girl child to live her childhood to the full extent!