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Unplanned Pregnancy: Stakeholders Advocate Easy Access to Emergency Contraceptives

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By Patience Ivie Ihejirika, Abuja

As part of efforts to minimise the risk of unplanned pregnancies, the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) has called for easy access to emergency contraceptives for all women who want it and who are at risk of unplanned pregnancies.

The association is also set to release a national curriculum for trainers on emergency contraceptives to be infused into country’s National Family Planning Curriculum (NFPC).

Speaking at the stakeholders forum, President/Chief Executive Officer of ARFH, Professor Oladapo Ladipo said there is strong evidence that Emergency Contraceptives should be made available to anyone who wants it.

According to him “any woman who is at risk of unplanned pregnancy due to exposure to sexual intercourse by choice, mistake or rape should be able to access emergency contraceptives anywhere and everywhere”.

He stressed the need for women to also carry emergency contraceptives in their purses, just like some men carry condoms in their pockets or wallets.

Also speaking at the forum, Professor Adeyemi Adekunle, of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said that the focus of the manual being developed is on the use of Levonorgestrel emergency contraception pills as a method.

He said: “service provision of emergency contraceptives at clinics should include discussion of the clients’ reproductive and contraception plan.

“EC should be available everywhere including Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps as 90% of Nigerians who need it are not likely to go to a clinic”.

Some of the objectives of the meeting were to get technical inputs form various stakeholders on the draft Emergency Contraceptive (EC) curriculum, to determine if the document meets the specific needs of the users, and to validate the usability, understandability and acceptability of the EC manual by relevant stakeholders.

Present at the meeting were officials of the Reproductive Health department of the Federal Ministry of Health and representatives of civil society organisations with a focus on family planning, like DKT Nigeria, IPAS, CHAI, Palladium, UNFPA, FHI 360, AAFP and NURHI.

 



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