50% of Nigerian girls become mothers before age 20 – Expert

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Stakeholders in the health sector said 30% of maternal mortality death in Nigeria ,can be averted through improved access to contraceptives, and increasing uptake of family planning services.

The Senior Program officer PSN-PACFaH@Scale Project ,Dr Edwin Akpotor said it is unacceptable that 50% of adolescent girls in Nigeria are already mothers by the time they celebrate their 20th birthday ,and fact that over 100 women die in the process of giving life.

He made the disclosure while on an advocacy visit to Pharm Mashood Oluku Lawal, the Director Food and Drugs Services of the Federal Ministry of Health.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) recommended the expansion of Family Planning services provided by Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicines Vendors (in the EML & NSTG),in order for Nigeria to achieve

27% Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) commitments by 2020.

The PSN in its Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH)@Scale project said the Federal Ministry of Health should support the ongoing revision of the Task Shifting & Task Sharing policy to cover CPs and PPMVs, expressing optimism that the expansion will help Nigeria reduce maternal deaths and improve the health of women.

Akpotor said Nigeria’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is 576 per 100,000 live births, stating that the high MMR is one of the biggest health challenges in Nigeria which happens due to high unintended pregnancies & low use of contraceptives .

“The unacceptable MMR will reduce drastically ,if there is increased access and uptake of Modern Family Planning commodities and services in the country ”

According to the group ,Nigeria is contributing 15% of global maternal deaths, with about 111 women and girls dying every day due to preventable pregnancies and child birth related complications (i.e. about 5 women die per hour) .

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