Almost 10,000 babies were born in Mexico last year to mothers aged between 10 and 14, according to government statistics revealed by the federal health secretary.
“The Inegi [National Statistics Institute] statistics are already out, they’re preliminary, they’ll change . . . but not by much. In 2017, 9,748 babies were born to mothers aged [from 10-14],” José Narro Robles told attendees at a tertiary education conference in Nuevo León.
“Every day of 2017, two babies were born to mothers aged 10 and 11, but how is that possible? Biologically, morally and ethically, that is not good,” he added.
Narro, who described the situation as “unacceptable” and one that “pains” him, said that greater sex education is needed, especially in primary and middle schools, but added that parents also need to play a role.
“In 70% of cases, those who get the girls pregnant . . . are adults, aged 18 or older. Where does this happen? At home, the place where they should be most protected, most looked after,” he said.
“. . . We have to eliminate and eradicate childhood pregnancies and reduce teenage pregnancies by at least half, ” Narro declared.
Figures compiled by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) last year showed that Mexico ranks number one for teen pregnancies among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The health secretary, who is a former director rector of the National Autonomous University (UNAM) and director of its medicine faculty, also said that mother-to-child transmission of HIV continues to be a concern although the number of cases declined by 34% last year.
“We should detect in all pregnancies if there is a problem and we would save a baby from having HIV/AIDS their whole life . . .” Narro said.
Source: Milenio (sp)