According to the 2018 Global family planning report, the rate at which unwanted pregnancy is increasing amongst young females in Nigeria is becoming alarming. It was revealed that Nigeria recorded 1.3 million unwanted pregnancies the previous year. At a period where there’s hardship, overpopulation and not enough access to healthcare services in the country, it’s an issue of concern. In 2016, World Bank reported that the adolescent fertility rate was 109 births per 1000 female adolescents aged 15-19 years compared to the year 2014 where it was 112 births per 1000 female adolescents aged 15-19 years. Although the slight decrease in the number of births per 1000 female adolescents in that age group, we cannot infer it was solely due to an increase in the use of contraceptives.
The fact is, contraceptive prevalence isn’t improving despite the set target to have reached a contraceptive prevalence rate of 36% by 2018. Currently, reports show that Nigeria has a 13.9% contraceptive prevalence rate meanwhile as at 2016 and 2017, it was estimated to be 20.4% and 16% respectively. Among female adolescents, the rate is remarkably low as only 6% of them were estimated to be using any contraceptive method. A recently concluded study in rural Nigeria shows that only 4% of the female adolescents use at least one form of contraceptive.
What happened to the remaining 96%? Why are they not utilizing contraceptives? Is this a question of access or unawareness in this time and age?