Abortions, Unplanned Births Will Scale Down by 77% Annually If…, Says Health Expert

…as Nigeria records 1.3m abortions every year

Abortions and unplanned births in Nigeria would reduce drastically every year if all unmet needs for modern contraception in different states of the federation are satisfied.

Yearly, Nigeria records not less than 1,300,000(One Million, Three Hundred Thousand) abortions carried out by women of reproductive age, and 885,000(Eight Hundred and Eighty-five Thousand) unplanned births.

Secretary, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Nigeria (SOGON),
Prof. Christopher Aimakhu made this known during a three-day Online Media Training for Health Reporters organized by Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH) with support from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Rotary International and The German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, over the weekend. The theme of three-day training was “Behavioural Change In Family Planning, The Impact of Journalists.”

Speaking at event, Aimakhu made it clear that Federal and State governments have continued roles to play in funding the provision of modern contraceptives for women who want to prevent pregnancies, saying lack of/or inadequate funding of contraceptives have contributed to unintended pregnancies thereby, resulting in innumerable abortions, unplanned births, maternal and newborn deaths.

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According to him, another setback to meeting the needs of contraception is poor management of logistics and data, a situation where modern contraceptives are not evenly distributed across communities, limited supplies of contraceptives and other family planning commodities are made, substandard family planning facilities are utililized and inaccurate situational reports documented.

He made a case for availability of more trained or qualified healthcare workers and standard quality of services.

The Health Expert asserted that if the above and all other needs are met, “the annual number of unplanned births would decrease by 77% (from 885,000 to 200,000) and the number of abortions would drop by 77% (from 1.3 million to 287,000).

“If full provision of modern contraception were combined with adequate care for all pregnant women and their newborns, maternal deaths would drop by 68%(from 61,000 to 19,000 per year) and newborn deaths would drop by 85%(from 225,000 to 38,000 per year).”

Prof Aimakhu who presented a paper on ‘Analysis of Family Planning Budget and State of Contraceptive Distribution Logistics in Nigeria,’ explained that to meet the needs of all Nigerian women who do not want to get pregnant, provision of modern contraceptive services would cost $546 million (invariably N224.681 billion) annually.

He added that to fully satisfy women’s need for both contraceptive services and maternal and newborn healthcare in Nigeria, a total of $5.0 billion (invariably N2.057 trillion) would be spent.

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