The Society for Family Health has said that no fewer than 2.5 million unwanted pregnancies were prevented in Nigeria between 2009 and 2014 through an initiative, Enhancing Nigeria’s Response to HIV/AIDS.
The initiative also facilitated the distribution of 1.2 billion male and four million female condoms, as well as an increase in access to condoms in rural areas from 50 per cent in 2007 to 90 per cent in 2014.
The SFH Managing Director, Mr. Bright Ekweremadu, made this known at an ENR programme in Abuja.
According to Ekweremadu, the programme funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom is to promote sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS reduction in seven high prevalence states in the country.
The states are Enugu, Lagos, Ogun, Nasarawa, Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, and Kaduna as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
The initiative, Ekweremadu added, had prevented 10,000 maternal deaths and 109,364 new HIV infections within the period.
He said, “The ENR programme which ended on December 31, 2014, remains one of the largest HIV and AIDS grants so far in Nigeria. The programme has recorded remarkable achievements in the seven high prevalence states where the implementation took place. The target was to improve access to effective HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment as well as care and support information and services for people most vulnerable to infection.
“Of particular note, are the 2.5 million unintended pregnancies prevented, 10,000 maternal deaths averted and 109,364 new HIV infections prevented,”
Before the commencement of the programme in 2007, he noted that the HIV prevalence was 3.5 per cent with an estimated 3.9 million people living with HIV.
Ekweremadu stated that the programme developed strategies in line with the national strategic plan to contribute to Nigeria’s achievements of the Millennium Development Goal 6 by reducing the incidence of HIV epidemic and mitigating the impact of AIDS.