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Covid-19 pandemic may lead to 7 million unintended pregnancies

FILE PHOTO Photographer: Lalinka Mahote/ African News Agency (ANA)

FILE PHOTO Photographer: Lalinka Mahote/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 4, 2020

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DURBAN - The de-escalation of non-essential health services by hospitals, as they prioritised attending to Coronavirus cases may negatively impact women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health, impeding their access to care.

According to a new report by the UN Population Fund published in

“We predict there could be up to 7 million unintended pregnancies worldwide because of the crisis, with potentially thousands of deaths from unsafe abortion and complicated births due to inadequate access to emergency care. We are particularly concerned about “the skyrocketing of gender-based violence, which is a “pandemic within a pandemic,” said Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Meanwhile, another study, by the SA Medical Journal states that the short and long-term effects of the disruption to surgical services will be detrimental to the health of South Africans.

“A large backlog of surgical conditions needing care should be expected once the virus peaked. The public and private health systems needed to work together to handle the surgery backlog and save lives. Public hospitals’ timely return to surgeries will be hindered by Covid-19,” stated the report.

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