Nigeria has recorded over 1.3 million unwanted pregnancies in 2018 alone, the 2018 global family planning report has revealed.
The most populous nation on the African continent also averted 735,000 unsafe abortion in the year under review.
The averted abortions are seen as “the number of unsafe abortions that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period”.
According to the report unveiled at the ongoing International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Kigali, only 13.8 percent of Nigerian women use contraceptives in 2018.
The report defines unintended pregnancies as “the number of pregnancies that occurred at a time when women (and their partners) either did not want additional children or wanted to delay the next birth”.
This is “usually measured with regard to last or recent pregnancies, including current pregnancies”.
Speaking in Kigali, at the ICFP opening ceremony and the launch of the report, Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente called on the global policy makers and funders to invest in family planning.
“Family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the wellbeing of people in all countries,” Ngirente said.
“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.”
More than 3,700 global policymakers, researchers, young people, faith leaders and family planning advocates from around the world are gathered in Kigali, Rwanda to attend the 2018 ICFP.
The summit, themed “Investing for a Lifetime of Returns,” is co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Rwanda.