Teenage pregnancy to increase as school closure persists – NPC


The National Population Commission (NPC) has predicted that the continuous closure of schools across Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic might lead to an increase in teen pregnancy, abortions, and early school dropouts.

Speaking at the 2020 World Population Day held on Saturday in Abuja, the Acting Executive Chairman of the NPC, Dr Tayo Oyetunji, added that there has been a noticeable increase in gender-based violence ranging from rape to physical and emotional assaults on girls.

According to him, “In the absence of schooling, more girls are likely to drop out of school and other consequences could include early marriage and high fertility, morbidity and maternal mortality, abortion and low self-esteem,” Dr Oyetunji said.

Recall that last Wednesday, the Federal Government suspended the resumption of graduating year secondary school students in schools over fears of increased spread of COVID-19.

The event, with the theme: “Putting the Brakes on COVID-19: How to Safeguard the Health and Rights of Women and Girls Now,” was part of an international awareness campaign that is celebrated annually to beam global attention on the urgency and importance of population issues universally.

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The NPC boss said the plight of girls and women has been worsened with limited access to health facilities due to lockdowns.

“COVID-19 did not make it easy for women to access and utilize reproductive health facilities, especially as the logistics of getting to health facilities were negatively impacted,” he said.

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