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Nigeria to experience unplanned COVID-19 babies by November, reproductive health expert predicts

A reproductive health expert has predicted that Nigeria will begin to see unplanned COVID-19 babies from November 2020.

As a result of that, he has advocated the use of telehealth to spread proper information necessary to forestall its devastating effects.

He has asked federal and state governments to adopt it.

Speaking at a Development Communications (DevComs) Network Zoom Meeting on Friday, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Senior Faculty with the University of Jos and the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Josiah Mutihir, said the need for family planning does not disappear during a pandemic and therefore should not be ignored or neglected.

Mutihir who spoke on the topic: ‘Why Access to Contraception is Critical in Covid-19 Response’ said: “Covid-19 has also had a negative impact on access to family planning information, and services. The other side of the pandemic is the accompanying preventive measures that necessitate restriction of movement, and the stay home order culminating in ‘partial or total lockdowns. Families are compelled to stay home, day and night for periods of between one to 12 weeks depending on the country or State.

“This has brought the husband and wife or spouses face to face for long periods. Idleness has set in and increased sexual desires and activity result.

Where the woman is not protected, unwanted pregnancy is the likely outcome in most instances where the woman is still in the reproductive age and is not on any method of contraception.

“Information sharing of messages about family planning in addition to online or hotline counselling is also available. Fortunately for this internet age, Mobile Apps exist for family planning and can be accessed freely. The Apps determine the fertile period of the woman and then the couple abstains for a period or use male or female condoms, vaginal spermicidal agents, or the use of non-penetrative sex,” he said.

Mutihir added that there should be public enlightenment that many contraceptive methods are available in the pharmacies, which are not closed at the moment.

He also urged relevant authorities to put accessing family planning service as Essential Service and therefore should be on the exemption list for restricted movements among other recommendations.

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