About 214 women rescued from Islamist Boko Haram militants in north-east Nigeria are pregnant, according to local media citing the Chief of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The Nigerian military said it freed nearly 700 women last week.
“Already, many of them are undergoing screening for various diseases, infections including HIV/AIDS and about 214 of those already screened were discovered to be at various stages of pregnancies, some visibly pregnant and some just tested pregnant; but we are supporting all of them with various levels of care to stabilize them,” said UNFPA Nigeria executive director Babatunde Oshotimehin speaking in Lagos.
“Some of the children that were freed along with the women, it was discovered, were born in the forest and had never been out in the open until their release by the Nigerian Army,” Osotimehin said.
He added that the UNFPA has also been providing psychological counseling to the women and children because “…women and girls have specific needs that nobody else looks after.”
“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,” he added.
In 2014 UNFPA aided over 16, 000 pregnant women who had given birth in camps for internal refugees, Osotimehin also noted.
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