Some experts in healthcare delivery in Kwara State have expressed concern over the increasing rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortion among primary and secondary school pupils in Kwara State, PUNCH reports.
Speaking during an event held at the Government Girls’ Day Secondary School in Ilorin, the state capital, on Wednesday, the Founder, Zoe Choosers Foundation, Abimbola Obaje, observed that the development was impacting negatively on educational development in the state.
Obaje noted that despite advocacy programmes and health campaigns organised by non-governmental organisations in the state to raise awareness for the dangers of early pregnancies and abortions, especially among teenagers, some pupils had either lost their lives or damaged their vital organs in the process of aborting pregnancies.
She said, “There are many non-governmental organisations that give out contraceptives to pupils. Although some of them preach abstinence, abortion is still very rampant even among teenagers in primary and secondary schools.
“In some of the schools I have visited, I found some pregnant female pupils. This bothers me a lot. I believe that the most common reason why pupils indulge in abortion is the social stigma attached to unplanned or early pregnancy. Many of them are afraid that their parents will disown and send them packing if their pregnancies are discovered. That is what leads them to attempt an abortion.
“Some of these girls go to quacks to abort their babies. Some of the girls die in the process or get their uterus ruptured. Also, there are many post abortion diseases that these girls get infected with. We need to show them love.”
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Obaje urged parents and guardians to ensure that they expose their children and wards to sex education so as to prevent early pregnancy and abortion.
“Nowadays, children are exposed to a lot of things, including the social media and television. I know some parents are saying that they cannot talk to their children about sex, but I believe that if these kids are educated about such things when they are still very young, they learn how to handle some situations in the future.”
She also called on the Federal Government and religious organisations to engage in more enlightenment campaigns on the dangers of early and unplanned pregnancies, as well as abortion.
Also, the co-Founder, Abi-Clinics, Mrs. Taiwo Oshodi-Abikan, said it was imperative to expose pupils to sex education and the dangers of early pregnancy and abortion.
She said, “We have heard of cases of severe bleeding among school girls due to poorly handled abortions. This is unhealthy for the development of the girls and the general society. We need to have proper sex education, especially in our homes.
“Parents and their children need to communicate with one another, so they will know how to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the future. On the other hand, government should provide more facilities that are open to planned parenthood.”