A nine-year-old girl was admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) because she is 33 weeks pregnant and is expected to give birth at the institution. This could be the first case of its kind in the country.
This comes a few weeks after a girl from Mkhosana Township in Victoria Falls, who was 13 years old at the time, gave birth at Victoria Falls Hospital shortly after writing part of her Zimsec Grade Seven tests on a hospital bed. In the situation involving Victoria Falls, the young woman was unaware that she was pregnant until one month before the due date of her child.
Due to the precarious nature of the pregnancy, the nine-year-old girl who is involved in the UBH case is currently being observed by a group of specialized physicians and registered nurses. The girl is approximately one month away from giving birth.
The nine-year-old girl is said to be from the Tsholotsho District in the Matabeleland North Province, according to the reports, and officials from the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare are investigating the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. It was reported by some sources that she may have been raped and impregnated by a “near person,” which is the reason for the investigations, which also involve the police.
A crew from Sunday News went to UBH the previous week and spoke to Dr. Harrison Rambanapasi, the acting chief executive officer of the institution. Dr. Rambanapasi confirmed the matter, but he was unable to share any further details. According to him, the girl conceived a child when she was only eight years old; this was made possible by a rare disease known as precocious puberty (development of sexual maturation earlier than the normal age). According to Dr. Rambanapasi, the onset of puberty typically occurs between the ages of 11 and 12.
He stated, “Yes, I can confirm that we have such a case at the hospital, and she is being seen by a variety of specialists who are assisting her.” “Yes, I can confirm that we have such a case at the hospital.”
According to the acting CEO, this was the first time he had ever heard of a situation like this, and he argued that for the majority of people working in the medical field, this was something that was only mentioned in medical publications.
“Books of medicine tell of a nine-year-old who has delivered before, but it is a very long time ago and not in this nation. However, for me this is a first in my career; the youngest patient I had seen previously was a 12-year-old girl who had been a victim of sxual abuse. Dr. Rambanapasi remarked that it was sad that they had to deal with a case like this with a child who was just nine years old.
According to findings from a study conducted online, the woman who holds the record for being the youngest mother in the history of the world was a Peruvian girl who was only five years old when she gave birth in an operation on May 14, 1939.
According to the reports that were based on the medical evaluations of her pregnancy, she was younger than five years old when she became pregnant. This could have been the result of precocious puberty on her part. Dr. Rambanapasi, without revealing a great deal of information about the case in question, drew attention to some of the difficulties that are associated with problems of that sort.
“There are a lot of challenges, this is a child who is supposed to be in school, a child who should be playing with other children,” the speaker said. “This is a child who should be doing those things.” Despite the fact that she is still a child and ought to be looked after by her parents, you are placing this additional duty on her shoulders. Because of this, the other things that she ought to be working on at this moment, like going to school, are going to suffer as a result.
“It is going to be strange for her and also for her peers; people will be looking at her, probably laughing and mocking her, and that affects her mentally as well,” he said. “People will be looking at her.”
According to Dr. Rambanapasi, a nine-year-physical old’s development is not mature enough for sexual activity.
“When we look at sxual activity before the changes of puberty have fully occurred, it will be highly traumatic for her to engage in sxual activity because her body has not evolved enough for her to be engaging in sxual behaviors,”
The genitalia have not yet established their capacity for resistance. Even before we discuss the possibility of her being pregnant, it is quite clear that this is the outcome of an abusive relationship. Is this child mature enough to negotiate for sxual activity that won’t endanger them? As a result of their lack of knowledge regarding how to keep themselves safe, they are at an increased risk of contracting sxually transmitted diseases, including HIV and unwanted pregnancies.
Even if they are aware, how can they negotiate for safe sxual encounters with an adult? They are incapable of reaching an agreement,” he stated.
The interim chief executive officer stated that when a woman of such an advanced age becomes pregnant, there is a struggle for available resources in the body because both the mother and the unborn child are still in the process of growing. He stated that another difficulty was the absence of health care facilities that were capable of delivering the essential antenatal care in an atmosphere that was encouraging.
Antenatal care services are provided in the form of medical checkups, which consist of recommendations on managing a healthy lifestyle and the provision of medical information such as maternal physiological changes in pregnancy, biological changes, and prenatal nutrition including prenatal vitamins. This information helps to prevent any potential health problems that may arise throughout the course of the pregnancy and promotes the health of both the mother and the child.
“Just picture her in antenatal courses with other women who were old enough to be her mother,” you say. She is only nine years old and is supposed to be somewhere around the fourth grade. This is not a comfortable situation for her. What kind of knowledge does she have regarding prenatal care? Will she even be able to comprehend what’s going to be discussed in those classes? How well do you think the nurses will understand her? She will be dealt with in a manner that is distinct from that of a mature adult who seeks the same services,” he added.
According to him, other problems that might arise during pregnancy include pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and molar pregnancies, which are aberrant pregnancies that do not result in the formation of a baby but instead result in the formation of several cysts.
“There are a lot of obstacles that need to be overcome.
There is a problem with rape, and there are psychological repercussions, both short and long term, that are associated with it. These repercussions can last a lifetime. Because of this pregnancy, this child is likely to have difficulties engaging in sxual activity when she is older and eventually gets married. This is also likely to affect her ability to have children of her own.
It is highly possible that she will struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to a myriad of other issues. Due to the fact that her pelvic bones have not matured to their full potential, she will most likely require a cesarean section rather than having a natural delivery when the time comes to give birth.
Even with the fact that labor is a painful process, it is unlikely that this child will cooperate. Not only is labor a painful process, but the vaginal examinations that are done will be more painful to her even after she has given birth. “Breast feeding is very painful in the beginning, and considering that the breast may not be fully developed, less milk will also be produced,” he said. “Breast feeding is very painful in the beginning.”
Dr. Rambanapasi added that it is highly unlikely for the girl to form a link with her child due to the fact that she is also a child who has given birth and the baby will become more of a burden to her than anything else.