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214 Rescued Girls From Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest Pregnant – United Nations Population Fund

Sambisa girls pregnant

There are indications that no fewer than 214 girls who were rescued recently by the Nigeria army from the Sambisa forest in Borno state, the den on Boko Haram, might be pregnant.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Professor Babatunde Osotimehin made this known in Lagos today.

According to him, the UNFP had also, in the last one year, taken deliveries of over 16,000 pregnancies in the troubled North East part of the country.

Professor Osotimehin, who gave an update of the response to the rehabilitation of the rescued women and children,  said the organization, in anticipation of the magnitude of the problem on hand, had put in place a formidable team in collaboration with the Federal and state governments, to first restore the dignity of the girls, who, he said, are facing severe psychosocial trauma.

On the state of the girls, he explained that most of them, due to the long period spent in captivity, required a special set of services that would facilitate their integration into society.

“What we found is that some of the women and girls 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,” he stated.

He said 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. He noted that those trained were people from the communities, who understand the context and sociology of the people.

“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 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. We look after them, and ensure they get antenatal care and that they deliver properly and that they even get Caesarean Section when necessary.” [myad]

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