Unwanted pregnancies in Nigeria at 2023-UNDP

Unwanted pregnancies in Nigeria at 2023-UNDP

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Unwanted pregnancies in Nigeria at 2023-UNDP


Unwanted pregnancies in Nigeria at 2023-UNDP. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the country’s inability to fund family planning may lead to an increase in undesired pregnancies and abortions.

On Tuesday, the National Population Commission held a ceremony in Abuja to commemorate World Population Day 2023.

During a panel discussion titled ‘Dialogue on financing and investment in family planning: meeting the growing demand of Nigerian women’, Technical Specialist, Maternal & Reproductive Health, UNDP, Dr Adeela Khan, said that the funding gap for family planning was widening, increasing from $25m in last year to $32m in 2023.

According to her, this funding gap would lead to 700,000 unintended pregnancies, which would further lead to 300,000 unplanned births and 300,000 unsafe abortions.

“Family planning is largely dependent on funding, which is dwindling,” she explained. There was a $25 million shortfall as of 2022. This year, we anticipate a $32 million shortfall. What is very important about this gap is that if you are casting it, there will be 700,000 unintended pregnancies, which will result in approximately 300,000 unplanned births and 300,000 unsafe abortions.”

Khan, however, noted that the government had been making some efforts through policies, such as the National Policy for Population and Sustainable Development in 2022, and financial commitment to ensuring family planning.

She added, “The Nigerian government has been recognising the importance of investing in family planning.”

During the panel discussion, an experienced Public Health Practitioner, Dr Gafar Alawode, stated that the country’s growing population was concerning.

He went on to say that the population was expanding faster than the economy, which was bad.

“Every year, Nigeria produces the equivalent of Liberia, Togo, and possibly Sierra Leone combined,” Alawode stated. Our population is growing faster than our economy, making it more risky. The inference is that wealth is not growing, but individuals who consume wealth are growing. This means that each individual’s portion is lowered. And Nigeria is already a poor country.”

The UNFPA Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem, who was represented by UNFPA Nigeria Acting Resident Representative, Ms Erika Goldson, noted that 19 per cent of married women in Nigeria could not exercise their right to make decisions, especially regarding having children.

She also emphasized the need of women’s empowerment, saying that it would boost human capital and inclusive economic growth.

“Realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all is the foundation for gender equality, dignity, and opportunity,” she stated. Nonetheless, more than 40% of women worldwide, and 19% of married women in Nigeria, are unable to exercise their right to choose whether or not to have children. Empowering women and girls, including via education and access to modern contraception, helps them achieve their goals and set their own course in life.

“Advancing gender equality is a crosscutting solution to many population concerns. In ageing societies that worry about labour productivity, achieving gender parity in the workforce is the most effective way to improve output and income growth.

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