July 2014

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Crib deaths point to under-age marriages, women’s health woes in Bengal

West Bengal has a very high incidence of under-age marriages. In some districts the prevalence rate of under-age marriage is so high that every second bride is a minor. In its profile of West Bengal state, Unicef points out that almost half of female teens are pregnant by the age of 19 and more than 60 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic. It further says that the number of institutional deliveries is less than half the total; and one third of women do not receive the recommended three antenatal checkups during pregnancy and only two thirds get post-natal care within two weeks of delivery.