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Rise in rate of abortion worries Health Commissioner

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HIGH rate of abortion among young women, especially  students,  has become  a source of worry to the  Anambra State’s Commissioner for  Health,  Joe Akabuike.

As a result,  he  has called  on teachers, parents and other stakeholders to give qualitative sex education to their wards and students to avoid issues associated with unwanted pregnancy, abortions and other sexually related challenges.

He gave the advice during the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) Abortion Survey’ Dissemination workshop for stakeholders held recently  in Awka, Akabuike said that the objective of the workshop was to create awareness to relevant stakeholders on the outcome of  the ‘Abortion Survey’ carried out in some States of the Federation.

He  disclosed that the peak age of abortion was between ages 20 and 21, the post-secondary school or early university age. He  expressed  worry over  the increasing rate  of abortion in the society,  calling  for proper sensitisation on  sex education.

The commissioner  therefore called on youths to avoid abortion, noting that it could lead to injuries to the uterus, bleeding and infections. Dr Akabuike also urged parents and teachers to provide adequate sex education to the young ones to help them to gain information and make healthy decisions on sex.

Speaking,  the Principal Investigator PMA2020 Nigeria, Dr Elizabeth Omoluabi, said that prior to the survey, more than 6 out of 10 abortion cases were considered least safe and , 11 per cent of women experienced complications for which they sought post abortion care at health facilities.

According to her,  from the survey, 75 per cent of women in rural areas were illiterates and that those in the lowest wealth quartile were the most likely to have an abortion that was considered least safe. “Most public tertiary and secondary facilities provided post abortion care but only 67 per cent had necessary equipment, medicines and other services.”

She further  disclosed that,  “Based on self-reported likely abortion data, 19 per cent of women indicated they used multiple methods to terminate their pregnancy. Alltogether 36 per cent underwent surgery to ultimately terminate their pregnancy, 7 percent used misoprostol and the remaining 57 per cent used unspecified medications or traditional methods for their abortions.”

“We are in Anambra because we want all relevant stakeholders to be aware of the rate of abortion in the country and also partner with them in educating the female ones on the dangers,  Omoluabi said.

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