Nigeria records delivery of 2.5 million ‘stray bullets’ babies annually

The family planning programme may have recorded negative result in Nigeria as statistics showed that, the country annually records about 2.5 million cases of unintended pregnancy, and this has been traced to  unmet needs of contraceptives.

Penpushing reports that, this was made known by health experts during 2-day virtual media training on family planning organised by the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Nigeria (RMCH) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, and the German Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development.

This was buttressed  by  Dr Christopher Aimakhu, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Oyo State, and  Prof Abubakar Panti,  in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology,Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital,Sokoto .

Penpushing further reports that, the duo gave some startling statistics about family planning in Nigeria on Wednesday, adding that Nigeria takes a large share of about 190 million women around the world, who are not using contraceptives despite the desire to space the number of births..

The obstetrician and gynaecologist explained that   this is due to the low availability of contraceptives, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, calling on government and donor agencies on need to  carry out urgent interventions to increase contraceptives’ uptake in the country,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that, Aimakhu explained that if all unmet needs in Nigeria are satisfied, unintended pregnancies will drop by 77 per cent, from 2.5 million to 555,000 per year, stressing that as. a result, the annual number of unplanned births would be decreased from 885,000 to 200,000 and the number of abortions would drop from 1.3 million to 287,000.

The Professor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, on his part, emphasised that unmet contraceptives need is a contributory factor to high maternal deaths in the country,adding that  nearly 50 per cent of unmarried women in Nigeria do not have access to modern contraceptives.

Penpushing reports that, Panti added  that the situation puts women in conditions of pregnancies not planned for, thereby increasing the country’s population and their chances of dying from unsafe abortion.

“In underdeveloped countries, women continue to die because they lack access to contraception. In Nigeria, from the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018, the unmet need for contraception among married women is about 19 per cent, and the unmet needs among unmarried women are as high as 48 per cent,” he said.

Penpushing further reports that, he explained that each pregnancy multiplies a woman’s chances of dying from complications of childbirth, stressing that maternal mortality rates are particularly high for young and poor women because they lack access to contraceptive services.

“It is estimated that one in three deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth can be avoided if women have access to contraceptive services,” he said

The national coordinator of Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Nigeria (RMCH), Emmanuel Lufadeju,in his remarks said restrictive access to contraceptives and modern family planning methods had contributed to the high population in the country.

“Family planning must be prioritised because the country is at the risk of a population explosion which will have an adverse effect on our socio-economic development. It will also overstretch our already inadequate social amenities”

The  Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Nigeria (RMCH) boss said the country must begin to emphasise responsible parenting to be able to escape the calamity of an unplanned population explosion.

Penpushing also reports that,Director, Reproductive Health, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) Kayode Afolabi said the federal government is committed to embarking on deliberate efforts to ensure sustainable financing for the national family planning programme.

The Director added that  the country has made very bold efforts to achieve rapid economic development in the past four decades, stressing that  rapid population growth has affected the quality of life and made the achievement of socio-economic development goals difficult.

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