WHO: Increase in Teenage Pregnancy in Delta Worrisome

Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator in Delta State, Dr. Faith Ireye, has called on the state government and other stakeholders to address the increasing cases of adolescent pregnancy among the girl-child in the state to reduce the dangerous trend. She observed that pregnancy in adolescents, especially within the age of 14 to 19 in Delta State, was worrisome.

Ireye said that there is the need to address the issue of adolescent pregnancy because currently, four percent of pregnancies in the state occur among adolescents.

The WHO coordinator in the state gave the advice at the weekend in Asaba during a one-day programme organised by the Delta State Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care Management Board in collaboration with SFH, tagged: ‘DISC 1.0 State Level Project Dissemination’.

Dr. Ireye stated that it was high time the government took a firmer decision to drastically reduce adolescent pregnancy, through rigorous educating and alerting of the girl-child to the hazard of early and needless pregnancy.

“If they have information, and are well guarded with the information at their disposal, it will be possible to crash teenage pregnancy below four per cent,” she said.

Nonetheless, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Onojaeme, lauded the Society for Family Health (SFH) on its Delivering Innovation in Self-Care (DISC) project aimed at expanding access to contraceptives by women in the state.

The state commissioner noted that the meeting was necessary to reflect on the accomplishments of the project discuss its impact and chart a course for the future.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Philomena Okeowo, the commissioner noted that the DISC project is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), adding that SFH has been a dependable partner with much impact.

Onojaeme said: “Society for Family Health has been a long-standing partner to the state having significantly contributed to the health indices of Delta State.

“Over the past two years, the DISC project has been a beacon of hope and progress in Delta State, championing the utilisation of Sayana Press subcutaneous contraception to empower individuals and communities towards better reproductive health outcomes.

“Through innovative approaches and dedicated efforts, the DISC project has expanded access to contraception and also empowered women and families to make informed choices about their reproductive health, thereby, fostering a brighter and healthier future for our communities.

“While we reflect on the successes of the DISC project, let us also acknowledge the challenges encountered and the lessons learned along the way.

“Our collective experiences, insights, and feedback will serve as invaluable resources as we continue to navigate the complexities of reproductive health programming and strive to address the evolving needs of our population.”

Also, the Deputy Team Lead, DISC Project, SFH, Mopelola Raji, said that the project was aimed at changing the way self-care contraception was perceived.

She said: “The DISC project is a four-year project funded by CIFF and implemented by Population Services International and SFH.

“So, we have what we call DMPA-SC Self-Injection, our unique product; it helps the woman to amplify her voice and also promotes autonomy for the woman to be able to decide what works for her.

“Moreover, we have an innovation called the ‘Empathy Based Training’, where we train the providers to have the competence and increased capacity to coach women to successfully self-inject themselves.”

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