UN report reveals adolescent pregnancy figures

New figures unveiled by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have revealed two million girls under the age of 14 fell pregnant last year.

The State of World Population 2013 report showed 7.3 million gave birth before they reached adulthood.

However, the problem is not proportionate, with 95 per cent of cases occurring in developing countries. Pregnancy during adolescence has been identified as having the potential to cause maternal mortality and spawn other reproductive health issues such as fistula.

According to the Journal, UNFPA bosses have cited a change in societal values and perception as the main course of action to fight the trend. The report said 200 girls are currently dying every day in developing countries as a result of premature pregnancy.

Executive director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin explained that in many developing countries, a lack of gender equality is central to the issue.

He said: "Too often, society blames only the girl for getting pregnant. The reality is that adolescent pregnancy is most often not the result of a deliberate choice, but rather the absence of choices and of circumstances beyond a girl's control."