Police and officers of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) are investigating the case where a 14-year-old Aishalton, Region Nine teenager delivered her baby in mid air.
The teen delivered her baby boy three Saturdays ago with the help of her sister and the pilot, who is attached to the Rural Air Medical Services (RAMS).
At the time, she was on her way to the Lethem Hospital after she was referred from a health institution in her village.
The Aishalton resident, who cannot be named because of her age, was transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) three days later, after the baby developed breathing complications. Both mother and child are at the GPHC.
Yesterday, a source from the CCPA said that the agency is investigating this case since the mother is a minor and should still be in school taking in her education.
This newspaper was told that the father of the child was arrested when the teen got pregnant and was later placed on bail.
Teenage pregnancy is said to be a “norm” in the hinterland region, according to social workers.
Kaieteur News was told that there are at least two cases of teenage pregnancies in almost every Amerindian village.
Last month, social workers were forced to intervene in such cases involving girls aged 10, 12 and 14 from Katoka, Aishalton and Yupukari.
A female source who is familiar with these cases told this newspaper that it seems as though village authorities, including Toshaos, do not see this situation as a major problem. She even alleged that the leaders seem to be hiding these cases from the police and social workers.
“Most of these girls are impregnated by a family member and their parents are covering it up. The village leaders too are trying to cover up things. The only time you know about these cases is when these girls are ready to give birth and they have to meet with health officials,” the source said.
According to reports, there are some residents who would lambaste the police for not doing anything to assist in these situations. However, a senior police source said that they can only intervene if a report is made to them.
He said, too, that in most cases, the girls do not reveal the names of the perpetrators, and in a case like that, the police cannot do anything.
Kaieteur News was told that young girls are being “schooled” not to reveal information to the police and social workers if such a case arises.
“These girls are told that they will be questioned by social workers and the police and they are advised to say they don’t know where the fathers of their babies are. One time one of these girls told me that the father of her baby was in Venezuela when in fact the man was right here in Guyana in the same village,” the source explained.
However, a senior official from CCPA said that she would not say that these children are being schooled, but she confirmed that when dealing with such cases, the girls are reluctant to reveal information.
“We do not get clear information on the identity of the perpetrators. There is a reluctance to disclose certain information. We have had a number of cases where we get girls and they all say the baby’s father is ‘Shawn and he in de bush’ but we never find that individual,” the official disclosed.
Last year, 58 cases of teenage pregnancies were reported to the agency; most of them were from the hinterland region.
Currently, the Child Care and Protection Agency is working with 10 underage girls, some of whom have already given birth, while some are expecting.
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