WORLD CONTRACEPTION DAY 2017 : Nigeria records 46 Million Abortions Annually
By Mohammad Ibrahim
Oct 1,Lagos : As Nigerians celebrate World Contraception Day the country records 46 Million Abortions Annually and 80 million unplanned pregnancies. Contraception prevents unsafe abortion which is a persistent, preventable pandemic and it remains one of the most neglected sexual and reproductive health problems in the world today.
According to National Demographic Health Survey 2013, the prevalence rate for contraceptive use in Nigeria is only 15%. This is very low in spite of the high rate of sexual activity and widespread awareness of the various contraceptive methods among Nigerian men, women, adolescent and youths. Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) Senior Technical Advisor on Advocacy, Mrs Charity Ibeawuchi recommends “political commitment backed by adequate and sustained funding of family planning programmes by the government at all levels will create the necessary enabling environment that will result in decreasing maternal deaths and morbidity thereby increasing maternal survival, increased productivity and poverty reduction”.
“Family planning plays a major role in improving maternal, new-born and child health. Family planning helps to avoid the proven challenges that women face in pregnancy/ child birth when they are too young and too old in age and/or when pregnancies are too close and too many. " Successful family planning programmes improve quality of life whilst significantly contributing to demographic dividends and national development”, she adds. Speaking on 2017 WCD theme; it’s your life, it’s your future, know your body, the Executive Secretary, Youth Empowerment Foundation, Mrs Iwalola Akin-Jimoh charged teenagers, women and youths to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive health life. She reiterated that the best for teenagers and youths is abstinence. ‘Teenage pregnancy is a serious social problem.
Having children at a young age can damage young women's mental and physical health, limit their education and career prospects, and increase their risk of living in poverty and social isolation. Thus, it is important for adolescents and youths to focus on their goals and avoid distractions, there is time for everything in life’. To government, Iwalola, said successful reduction in teenage pregnancy will be achieved when there is an open and realistic attitude to sexuality with effective programmes on sex education and confidential contraceptive advice. Development
Communication Network’s (Devcoms) Head of Programs, Ikeoluwa Otudeko calls for increase in sexual and reproductive health education, information on the various methods of contraceptives, interpersonal/peer-to-peer communication and improvements to healthcare services delivery. 26th of every September is set aside as WCD with a goal to reduce the level of unplanned pregnancies, support promotion of information on the importance of contraceptives use and its contribution to control of unwanted/unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortion and reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity.
The Oslo Times International News Network