J Adolesc Health. 1992 Dec; 13(8): 696-9.
Health profile of pregnant adolescents among selected tribal populations in Rajasthan, India.
Department of Community Medicine, P.S. Medical College and Hospital, Gujarat, India.
Among primitive tribal communities in India, girls are traditionally married immediately after attaining menarche. In the present study all adolescent girls in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy from 15 randomly selected villages of 4 tribal development blocks of Udaipur district (South Rajasthan State, India) were studied. The data were analyzed with reference to parity, anthropometry, anemia, and other dietary deficiencies. A total of 54 adolescent girls (13-19 years of age) were included in the present study. Of these, 59% (n = 32) were found to be primigravidas, 30% (n = 20) were pregnant for the second time, and 2 girls were pregnant for the third time. A majority were illiterate (n = 46), and almost all of them were found to be suffering from moderate-to-severe anaemia (n = 51). Similarly, a large majority (n = 46) had a body mass index (BMI) less than normal and body weight less than 42 kg. Two of the pregnant girls were also found to be suffering from pellagra, while approximately one-third of the girls had vitamin A deficiency. Only 2 had ever practiced family planning, consisting of some herbal preparations given to them by the folk doctor. Of the study participants, 19 girls (35.0%) were in the third trimester of pregnancy; of these, 7 had evidence of malpresentation or cephalopelvic disproportion. This study highlights the health profile and needs of pregnant adolescents among tribal populations in a drought-affected area in India.