|Type||Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor in Nursing Science|
|Title||An educational programme for fascilitating adolescent motherhood in Oshana region, Namibia.|
Adolescent motherhood is presented in the literature as today’s challenge both nationally and
internationally. The World Health Organization (2007) also indicated the encountered problem
on adolescent motherhood world-wide. Many countries documented the vicious sequence of
early motherhood such as poverty and poor education. Accordingly, adolescent motherhood is
regarded as a social health concern owing to its socioeconomic consequences, which affect the
young mothers, their babies, their families and their communities at large.
As a developing country, Namibia is no exception to the problem of adolescent motherhood,
high rate of early sexual activity prevails among adolescents, with consequently unwanted
pregnancies and early motherhood. The increase in the births of babies to adolescent mothers is
happening throughout the country. The adolescent pregnancy rate in Namibia is estimated to be
15.4%, with approximately one out of every five pregnant women being an early adolescent
(Ministry of Health and Social Services, (MOHSS 2006/2007).
The reality is that when adolescents discover that they are pregnant and the realities and
responsibilities of motherhood dawn on them, they tend to feel shocked, frightened, hopeless,
angry and frustrated. They may even become depressed and feel that they have failed
themselves, their families and society at large. Adolescent mothers seem to be thrown into an
adult world with no preparation for being a parent. This may increase the risk of child neglect or
maltreatment and a loving-caring relationship between baby and mother may never develop.
The following question arises: What needs to be done to assist and support adolescent mothers in
the transition from adolescence to motherhood? Although the prevalence of adolescent
pregnancy in Oshana region is not the highest recorded in the country, it does contribute to the
high percentage in the country.According to the reports from the 2006 birth registers of the Oshakati
Intermediate Hospital, a referral hospital in Oshana, there is an increased number of births from
adolescents with the birth records indicating that 42% of the births that took place in January 2006 and
43% in August 2006 were from young adolescent mothers aged 15−17years.Thus, this study aimed
atexploring and describing the experiences of adolescent mothers in the Oshana regionof
Namibia as regards motherhood and developed an educational programme directed at preparing,
assisting and supporting adolescent mothers during the period of motherhood. Adolescents
should be able to manage their lives without back street abortions and baby dumping which
usually occur when they don’t want to have babies.
A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual research approach was followed to study
the experiences of adolescent mothers in Oshana region of Namibia. The study draws on a
thematic analysis following Tesch’s analysis process. The study was conducted in four phases.
Phase I entailed a situational analysis which explored and described the adolescent mothers’
experiences of motherhood.
The results of the transcribed in-depth-interviews conducted indicated that adolescent mothers
experienced the following: 1) diverse feelings towards motherhood,2) various challenges related
to motherhood, 3) lack of effective interpersonal relationships with families and friends, 4) the
burden of caring for and bringing up a baby, and 5) future ambitions for support and
relationships.In Phase II a conceptual framework was developed,described according to the
concepts in the survey list as suggested by Dickoff, James and Wiedenbach (1968). Phase III was
concerning the programme development and implementation and lastly Phase IV,the evaluation
of the educational programme.
The overall insight obtained was that attaining motherhood prematurely has a severe impact on
adolescent mothers’ lives, on their families and also on their communities. As a consequence,
adolescent mothers are exposed to physical, social and psychological misery, dependency
syndrome and socioeconomic hardships. However, an educational programme can be effective in
assisting adolescent mothers to overcome the challenges experienced during motherhood. To
conclude, the study accentuates the ongoing need for research on adolescent motherson
challenges they are facing related to education andalso regard the experiences of the parents of
adolescent mothers when they accept the care of their grandchildren while their mothers continue
with their education.
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