Recently, 243 women and children were rescued by the Nigerian Army from the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, latest indications shows quite a number of the rescued girls are pregnant.
Lagos, Executive Director, UNFPA, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, who made the disclosure opened up on the fact that, UNFPA had taken deliveries of over 16,000 pregnancies over the last one year in the troubled North East part of the country.
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He stated “What we found is that some of the women and girls rescued From Boko Haram that have come back actually have much more in terms of the stress they have faced, so the counselling has to be more intense and working with them one-on-one.
“I’m glad the communities are not excommunicating them and are taking them back. That is an important therapy too. We anticipate this is going to escalate because the military intervention is continuing, we find that more people are now needing our services and we will continue’.
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He also stated that the UNFPA had earlier collaborated with the Federal and state governments to train 60 counsellors to offer psychosocial services to the affected women and children.
“UNFPA is providing dignity for women. In conflict and disasters, most people would only think of water and sanitation, provision of tents and housing, and food, which are all important. But women and girls rescued From Boko Haram have specific needs that nobody else looks after; it is only UNFPA that is doing this. We are giving psychosocial counselling.
“Beyond that, in the growing young people, we will always have pregnant women, but nobody segregates the needs of the pregnant women which are very important and different from the needs of the average community.”