Nigeria Records 2.9m Cases Of Unintended Pregnancies Annually- UNFPA

Joel Ajayi

Representative of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, Ms Ulla Elizabeth Mueller has revealed that Nigeria has about 2.5 million cases of unintended pregnancy annually, which she said had led to the death of many women.

Mueller said this yesterday in Abuja at the launch of the 2022 state of the world population report with the theme, ‘Seeing the Unseen: The Case For Action in the Neglected Crisis of Unintended Pregnancy.’

She said the number of unintended pregnancies that occur every year is 331,000 per day and on average represents a global failure to uphold a basic human right.

The UNFPA boss, who was represented by the Deputy Rep, Erika Goldson said the aim of the report is not to scare Nigeria but to bring stakeholders and global attention to explore challenges and opportunities.

According to her, globally, nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended.

“This is an unseen crisis unfolding right before our eyes.

“Nigeria has about 2.5 million cases of unintended pregnancy annually. About 90 percent of married women and 48 percent of unmarried women seek to postpone or delay childbearing. Wanting to get pregnant takes place in the bodies of people who did not affirmatively choose pregnancy or motherhood’’.

The UNPFA boss, who blamed the persistence of unintended pregnancy on gender inequality, said “lack of education is also one of the causes.

“The real damage to quality of life is incalculable and complex.

“Globally, unintended pregnancies are higher in countries with high levels of gender inequality circumstances”.

In her remark, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said unplanned pregnancy is capable of causing rejection and stigmatization for women and girls.

“Rejection and stigmatization from the society can lead to depression, adding that poor nutritional intake for the mother and child may be linked to greater risk of developmental delay for children”.

The minister, therefore, reiterated the need for concerted efforts to address the challenges, saying victims of unwanted pregnancies need support.

She added that “victims of unwanted pregnancies do not need our pity, but our support in rehabilitating and reintegrating them into the society”.

Earlier, the Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC, Alhaji Nasir Kwarra had identified Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights, SRHRS, as key to addressing unintended pregnancy.

Kwarra expressed dissatisfaction over the inability of women and girls to make choices over their sexual lives.

He said “almost a quarter of all women across the globe are unable to say no to sex and to make decisions about their own healthcare.

“Most often, women and girls find themselves in situations that inhibit them from exercising their fundamental rights and having opportunities to make decisions on issues that affect their reproductive lives”.

He identified unintended pregnancy, particularly among teenagers as a major health concern in every nation.

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