Nigeria records 1.3m unwanted pregnancies in 2018 says global family planning report

The report from International Conference on Family Planning also says Nigeria has stopped 735,000 unsafe abortions in 2018.

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This statistic is from the 2018 global family planning report which was made available to TheCable was unveiled at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Kigali report describes 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”, the report further states.

According to the report, Nigeria has also stopped 735,000 unsafe abortions in 2018.

The report defines averted abortions 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."

Also, only 13.8 per cent of Nigerian women use contraceptives in the year under review.

The number of unwanted pregnancies in 2018 highlights the population crisis facing Nigeria.

According to a United Nations report in June 2018, Nigeria will overtake the United States of America to become the third most populous nation in the world.

The report by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Population Division predicts this will happen by the year 2050, all things being equal. Out of the 10 most populous countries in the world, Nigeria which is in the seventh position has the fastest growing population.

Nigeria's fast-growing population rate is a headache for a nation with a bad healthcare system, poor educational system and deteriorating schools.

On Saturday, August 5, 2017, Senator Ben Murray Bruce tweeted something so alarming and dangerous.

The former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority alerted Nigerians to a ticking time bomb.

"In 2017, our projected population growth is 2.6% while our projected economic growth is 0.8%. We MUST stop producing more babies than jobs!" he tweeted.

Poverty

There are 186 million Nigerians and according to the World Poverty Clock, an estimated 86 million of us are living in poverty. This is a crisis. Nigeria is producing more people than it can take care of. The big family culture hasn't helped matters also.

From 2008-2011, 5.8 million babies were born in Europe. In contrast, Nigeria produced 30.4 million babies in this same period.

31 years ago

As far back as 1987, Nigeria has been seeking ways to reduce its population growth. A New York Times article of the same year highlights the government's approach in doing this.

"In addition to making contraceptives inexpensive and available to all Nigerians, the plan seeks to reduce family size by improving the general health of women and children. By reducing infant mortality, women will no longer want to have multiple pregnancies, health officials say.

The program is tentatively scheduled to cost $100 million for the first five years - with the money coming from the Nigerian Government, the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development" wrote the New York Times.

31 years down the line we can see that the goals of the then National Population Bureau, now National Population Commission were never achieved.

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