Family depends on man who impregnated 12-year old
Santo Domingo.- When urged to report the 45-year oldman who got her 12-year old daughter pregnant, the mother refused, saying thathe was the one who “supported the family”. This is just one in a long list ofteenage pregnancy cases that are causing alarm for the health authoritiesin San Cristóbal.
Regional Health director José Daniel Martínez Garcésand Juan Pablo Pina hospital director Miguel Geraldino told reporters that theywere concerned at the high number of cases of teenage pregnancy that havereached the hospital in the past few months.
Between April and June alone, they saw 1,811 casesof pregnancies in girls between the ages of 10 and 14, and 1,740 involving 15to 19-year olds. In this month so far they have seen 81 new cases.
They say that 98% of cases are linked to the cycleof poverty, many involving rape and incest and in 90% of the cases the adultresponsible is a family member or close family friend, adding that economicagreements are often involved.
They say that the authorities often feel that theirhands are tied because when they approach the parents, they tend to deny theabuse or refuse to discuss the situation, to the point where they may preventthe girl from returning to the hospital for fear of losing the income.
Dr. Martínez Garcés is suggesting that theprosecution service should set up an office in the hospital to deal with thesecases, because as a hospital it is difficult to report when the parents areopposed.
He said that in order to prevent the patients fromevading the required monitoring, the hospital has established a register forpersonal details, address, telephone numbers etc. so that they may continuereceiving treatment from their local Primary Healthcare Units.
They described the situation as alarming and saythat most of the under-15s are from the poorest sectors of society.