Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Teen pregnancy in Nigeria

Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The high rate in maternal deaths are due to lack of access to health care and poverty.

The Voice of America profiles a health organization in Nigeria called Conmpass. The group tries to lead after school discussions with young women to educate them about sex and pregnancy. VOA reporter Brian Padden tells us about the problems of teen pregnancy in Nigeria.

Dr. Mariam Jagun, with Compass, a Nigerian health organization, says more than 20 percent of adolescents girls in this neighborhood are mothers.

"For teenage pregnancy the problem about it is, because they are pregnant early and they are not prepared for it, they are less likely to go for antenatal care," Jagun said.

She says teenagers having babies in Nigeria perpetuates a cycle of poverty and exposes both mother and child to greater health risks. To break the cycle, Compass volunteers reach out to teenagers in Pedro Village to make sure they know that health-care options are available.

Elizabeth Uzo - two months pregnant- says sometimes she feels ashamed.

Dr. Jagun says the Nigerian government, with support from international aid organizations, is trying to reduce the high rates of maternal and infant mortality. More than 200 free health clinics provide care to five million women and children in poor neighborhoods.

The Lagos State has also set up youth friendly centers to provide adolescents accurate and confidential counseling on sex related matters.

1 comment:

onyinye said...

Hmm the things that are happening in Nigeria their just very say, I don't even know what to say at this point. Im waiting for a day to hear something positive because I know that their are many pluses that Nigeria has to offer.