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Conflict in north threat to women, girls, experts lament

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Experts have said the ongoing conflict in the north is a threat to women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

The Federal Government, was therefore, called upon to take steps to comply with international and regional human rights obligations regarding access to maternal health care services, abortion and other SRHR-related services for survivors of sexual violence to access comprehensive medical care.

The appeal was made during a webinar relating to report on the crisis in the North East. Senior Counsel at the Centre for Reproductive rights, Onyema Afulukwe, said between 2009 and 2016, more than 2.2 million people were internally displaced, with 1.17 million of them being females while 7,000 women and girls have been killed and abducted.

She said effects of the clash on sexual and reproductive rights included high levels of harassment of IDPs, increase in HIV transmission, a wide range of inadequacies in the provision of SRH services such as contraception, trauma-related psychosocial counseling and abortion as well as preventable maternal injuries and deaths and lack of accountability mechanisms.

Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrant in Africa, Maya Sahli-Fadel, said the report would improve activities at IDP camps.

Founding Director, LEDAP, Chino Obiagwu acknowledged a downward trend in challenges faced by the gender in the region. He regretted that government had not fared well in medical interventions amid the harm caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the zone.

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