– situation being fuelled by migrant situation – RHO

Region One has recorded a significant increase in teenage pregnancy and this is not being taken lightly.


RHO, Dr. Latchmie Lall

This was the disclosure of Region One’s Regional Health Officer [RHO], Dr. Latchmie Lall. She said that from January to November this year there were 259 teenage pregnancies which included the pregnancy of a 12-year-old.
This, she said, was from a population size of approximately 850 persons and reflects a notable increase from last year. From January to December 2018 there were 152 pregnancies.
But the 2019 numbers are already growing.
According to Dr. Lall, more teenage pregnancies have been recorded since the last reporting period and the final figure will be known by early next month.
In an attempt to analyze the state of affairs, the RHO said that it is often fueled by the migrant situation in the Region.
The Region, she explained, continues to see a very large influx of migrants who have been accessing

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A number of migrants have been accessing health care in Region One

health services.
“We have seen a very large influx of migrants and daily we are seeing many patients at our hospitals. More and more diagnoses are being made with some of those infections being transferred to the city,” she said.
The RHO disclosed that the region’s Maternal and Child Health programme has resulted in more women embracing family planning. This, she stressed, has resulted in a significant number of women having birth control implants.
“This, I must say, is mainly from the migrants…Also all the migrants are being vaccinated so we have had to increase our vaccination programme. It seeks to cater for all the migrants.
“It doesn’t only cover outlying areas but riverain areas too that are seeing an increase in migrants,” Dr. Lall shared.
The RHO said that because of the very large number of migrants who have taken up residence in the Region, efforts have been made to expand the Tuberculosis programme. This is in light of the fact that a number of migrants have been diagnosed with TB.
But dealing with this situation has not been straightforward.
According to Dr. Lall, “The grave challenge that we are seeking to address is that while we are able to stabilize them with the TB they are a population that is moving back and forth and when they go, they go for three to four months.
“This results in them not being able to follow up, thus placing undue pressure on the DOTS workers. It simply means that back here we are now forced to start that process again,” the RHO revealed.
This is compounded by a nutritional challenge. Dr. Lall pointed out a significant burden is placed on the Region to continue to meet the increased demand for drugs and medical supplies since no person seeking medical attention can be turned away.
The Region has however been getting some support from UNICEF and, according to Dr. Lall, her department is indebted for training rendered as a result of this support.
“We did have a WASH training, which is Water Sanitation and Health training, we have also had outreaches to several of these areas like Yarakita and White Water.”
She said, “We have also had help from GWI which constructed some sanitary blocks for the migrant population. Vaccines are being provided under the Maternal and Child Health immunization programme.”
The RHO noted, further, that her department is also seeking to create a database with various information on the migrant population being recorded, thus allowing the Region to be aware of the number of migrants accessing health care and other related services.
She said that there are currently 900 vaccinated and documented migrants in Region One, noting that there are several more. These, however, have not yet been vaccinated and documented, Dr. Lall informed.

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