COVID 19 lockdown related teenage pregnancy: Concept analysis
Celesile Chipo Cute Ndlovu, Petty Makoni and Helen Vupenyu Gundani
Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health is an important aspect of Public health that may be overlooked in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic (Murewanhema, 2020). The pandemic therefore, directly exposes adolescent girls to increased risks of unintended pregnancies, abortions, early marriages, sexually transmitted infections including HIV and Human Papilloma Virus (Murewanhema, 2020), despite the introduction of HIV and AIDS Reproductive Health and Life Skills Education in the schools curricula as early as 1993 in Zimbabwe. According to (World Vision Zimbabwe, 2020), there has been an increased incidence of teenage pregnancies and early marriages in Zimbabwe and the figures have doubled since the beginning of the COVID19 lockdown. This then has necessitated the need to obtain data that will help in the analysis of the COVID19 lockdown related teenage pregnancies so as to assist policy makers to come up with strategies and a contextualised policy to help curb an upsurge of teenage pregnancy during a crisis or a lockdown; and also informed by their understanding of sexual rights. Adolescence is a period which could be characterised by deficiency needs; of bodily comforts in a deprived environment; of insecurity and loss of guidance in dealing with lack of finances and poverty; of isolation, loneliness and neglect; and psychosocially, of battling with low self-esteem and fear of rejection, and all these emanate from basic needs as espoused by Maslow (Huitt 2017). These needs influence critical thinking processes required for decision making and acquisition of negotiation skills.
Methodology: This concept analysis of COVID19 lockdown related teenage pregnancies was done following the Walker & Avant (2011) 8 step model. The literature exploration was conducted in 10 days and 20 articles were selected at the initial search and only 9 articles were reviewed for analysis. The Google scholar and PubMed search engines were used to evaluate the journals and papers.
Results: The findings were that literature reported an upsurge in teenage pregnancies; and concentrated on predisposing factors to teenage pregnancy during the COVID19 lockdown period and in this concept analysis paper they are the antecedents of COVID19 lockdown related teenage pregnancy. The COVID 19 lockdown related adolescent pregnancy was defined as any pregnancy from a girl aged 19 years and below whose pregnancy occurred during the COVID19 lockdown period.
Conclusion: In a bid to minimise the COVID19 lockdown related, teenage-pregnancy, there might be a requirement for adolescent girls to be empowered to manage change as they consider morality, legal and ethical behaviour ahead of instant physical gratifications, as sexual indulgence has penalties. Consequently, a knowledge gap has been created necessitating the exploration of lived experiences of these teenage girls so as to develop mitigation strategies and a policy that is evidence based to avoid an increase of these pregnancies during a lockdown period.