July 18, 2024

Reduce maternal death, incorporate abortion-related scheme in school curriculum – Experts to Nigerian govt


Following the high rate of maternal death and unsafe abortions, the federal government has been advised to incorporate abortion-related topics into the secondary school curriculum in order to educate and enlighten students on the dangers associated with it.

According to the October 2021 Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) abortion survey, in Nigeria, 4.6% of reproductive-aged women undergo an abortion each year, equating to nearly 2 million abortions annually.

The survey outlined that 82% of women who had a recent abortion have secondary or higher education, 74% live in urban areas, 66% are already mothers, 54% are in their 20s, 51% are currently married or cohabiting, and 29% were in school at the time.

Rita Asoloko, a public health specialist, said there is a need for young people, particularly secondary school students, to be taught about healthy living and the dangers of unsafe abortion.

She disclosed that there is a concerning number of cases of high school females using items like hangers, potash, dry gins mixed with Andrew liver salt, and various concoctions to end pregnancies.

Asoloko spoke on Friday during a one-day webinar on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) organized by the Media Health and Rights Initiative of Nigeria.

She emphasized that while social media advertisements may not be effective in reaching these young people, being taught in school can help them make smart decisions and avoid unprotected sexual activity.

In his presentation, Dr. Kingsley Odogwu, Director of Clinical Services at Marie Stopes International (MSI), argued that although negative peer pressure and influences are prevalent in society, women must be educated on fundamental health issues to safeguard and protect them.

“It is the woman’s right to education, right to healthcare, and right to knowledge and health so as to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, among others. These rights are very critical and boil down to the ability to make informed decisions that would affect us, our families, and society at large.”

He warned that while unsafe abortion can take lives, it can also cause significant harm to women’s reproductive health.



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