2m unintended pregnancies, 12000 abortions prevented in Nigeria–Report

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*Minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Statistics from the 2018 Annual Report on Family Planning show that a total of 2, 060, 000 unintended pregnancies, 735, 000 unsafe abortions and 12, 000 maternal deaths were all averted in Nigeria between July 2017 and July 2018.

The report which was launched at the 5th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) held in Kigali, Rwanda also states that no fewer than 6.2 million Nigerian women of reproductive age from 15 to 49 years now using at least one modern method of contraception.

The report tagged ‘Catalysing Collaboration: 2017 – 2018’ also says no fewer than 1, 713,000 additional Nigerian women and girls who want to avoid or delay pregnancy have embraced the use of at least one modern method of contraceptive.

It also stated that about 46 million additional women and girls who want to avoid or delay pregnancy in the world’s 69 poorest countries have embraced the use of at least one modern method of contraception since 2012.

The rise, which is a 30 percent increase, brings the total number of women and girls accessing modern contraceptives in all the countries to 317 million.

It was also revealed that while some countries spend less than $50,000 million per year on family planning, others have committed more than $200 million annually.

It also reported Nigeria’s spending on family planning totalled $8.5 million in 2016, compared to $19 million in Kenya and $8.1 million in Burkina Faso.

“Rights-based family planning is a catalyst that unlocks the potential of girls and women in Nigeria and around the world. Our goal is to ensure that each one is able to exercise her basic rights to self-determination, health, dignity, and equality. This is a core strategy for countries to improve the health and well-being of their citizens and economy.

“Women represent half the global population, and there can be no healthy population globally or in Nigeria without reproductive health care. As we continue to build the framework for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), we must ensure access to full, free, voluntary contraception is included for all women and girls. As countries build UHC strategies, rights-based family planning and SRHR services must be integrated within primary health care systems,” said the executive director of Family Planning 2020.

At the conference, global leaders and health advocates highlighted high-impact, country-led family planning programs, and rubbed minds on the future of the family planning movement.

Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente called for enhanced investment in family planning across Africa and the rest of the world.

He emphasized the extensive and far-reaching social and economic benefits of investing in family planning and called for global commitments to address challenges in contraception access.

“Family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the wellbeing of people in all countries. The African continent is very youthful and the biggest challenges facing African leaders today is how to harness our youthful population into agents of sustainable development. Investment in young people and in human capital, in general, can enable us to harness a demographic dividend across our continents,” Ngirente said.

Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Natalia Kanem, noted: “As of July 2018 the number of women and girls using a modern contraception was the highest in history. It’s my biggest worry that we still have a long way to go to bring lifesaving modern contraceptives to every woman and girl who wants to prevent pregnancy no matter where she is or who she is, so it’s time to pick up the pace. Let us build on the progress we’ve made until we achieve our ultimate goal: universal access.”

President of the Global Development Programme at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Christopher Elias, said: “If we’re going to keep our promise to women and girls, we have to think differently, go beyond linear thinking and be disruptive. This is essential to bend the curve and get ourselves on track for universal access by 2030.”

With Vanguard report

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