UNFPA Raises Concerns About Early Marriage, Adolescent Pregnancy
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has identified early marriage and adolescent pregnancy as some of the socio-economic factors responsible for high rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria and other developing African countries.
The UNFPA Executive Director, Professor Babatunde Osetimehin, disclosed this during an advocacy visit to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Professor Osetimehin, while stressing the negative implication of adolescent pregnancy to include school drop-out and increased incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), also called for actions to improve reproductive health education in the country.
Professor Osetimehin further stated that adolescent pregnancy is generally not a deliberate choice of the girl child, and therefore should be discouraged.
The visit by the UNFPA officials to Kaduna was to assess how the state is improving in health and access to education for women and girls.
The Governor presented Kaduna State Costed Implementation Plan for Child Spacing to the UN officials.
He expressed sadness that the north is the worst hit in terms of poverty, illiteracy level, maternal and child mortality rates, and appealed to the United Nations to focus its intervention programmes to the most vulnerable states and regions in Nigeria.
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