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‘How MSION prevented 19,781 chance pregnancies during lockdown’


Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION) prevented no fewer than 19,781 child deaths during the lockdown restriction of movements necessitated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The organisation, via a webinar yesterday between its officials and the Network of Representatives Health Journalist Nigeria (NRHJN), said despite the lockdown restriction, it continued to provide “sexual and reproductive services” across the country.

The Country Director, Effiom Nyong Effiom, said the organisation as well worked round the clock to prevent 279,538 unsafe abortions and 793,601 unintended pregnancies.

Effiom, who stated that MSION had being reaching out to the communities with the much needed commodities despite the lockdown, said the organisation as well went the extra legitimate miles to avert 3,968 maternal deaths during the restriction.


Stressing that MSION’s decision not to stay aloof and watch things worsen nudged it to secure approval from both the federal and states’ ministries of health, which enabled its “teams to move and work as essential health workers, even in most difficult locations across states.”

The organisation’s internal COVID-19 response team, he said, also developed “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all team members, including handheld thermometers, sanitisers and facemasks to ensure safety of our clients and staff.”

Reiterating the determination of MSION to promote family planning among Nigerians, he said the organisation would continue to take services to the women closer to their homes “using our out-post service delivery strategy.”

Elated that “reporting rates have remained stable between the period,” he enjoined members of the network not to rest on their oars “until the much-desired message on sexuality and reproductive health reaches the doorsteps of those domiciling in rural communities.”

Director, Reproductive Health Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Afolabi, said the ministry had gone extra miles to integrate family planning commodity supplies into the national health response.

Despite the earlier hiccups experienced in clearing some of our contraceptive commodities from ports due to restrictions of movement and non-compliance with government directives on continued normal ports operation, the government, Afolabi noted, als captured N1.22 billion in the 2020Appropriation Act, which he believed would go a long way in addressing some of the challenges in reproductive health during the lockdown.


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