Teen pregnancies continue to rise

14 July 2021 | Health

The rate of teenage pregnancy in Namibia has increased over the past five years, with 3 676 teenagers falling pregnant so far in 2021.
These statistics were announced by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Namibia on Monday, which said this is in comparison to 2 962 cases of teenage pregnancy reported in 2016.
In light of this, health minister Kalumbi Shangula said that Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact in Namibia, since access to sexual reproductive services such as family planning services were negatively impacted during the country’s lockdown period and as a result, an increase in teenage pregnancies were recorded.
Shangula, who was delivering his keynote address during the virtual commemoration of the annual World Population Day on Monday, said Namibia is also experiencing an increase in maternal deaths among other challenges that the country’s health sector is experiencing. He said these challenges present clear threats to achievements made in the areas of population health issues.
Shangula detailed the country’s national response to HIV, which is on course to achieve epidemic control through the implementation of robust programmes, adding that Namibia successfully achieved the 90:90:90 UNAIDS targets by 2017 and has surpassed some of the 2030 UNAIDS 95:95:95 fast-track targets.
“Namibia is one of the countries on the path of elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis,” he said.
Shangula noted that the country has already achieved key major targets for elimination of mother to child transmissions, which is currently less than 5% while antiretroviral therapy coverage is currently at 95% among pregnant women and absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is currently more than 95%.
UNFPA and its partners estimated that six months of significant health service disruptions could result in 47 million women in low and middle-income countries going without contraceptives, leading to an additional seven million unintended pregnancies, while the number of maternal deaths was also expected to increase. – Nampa

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