Association attributes high number of expectant mums to restrictions

Picture: FT ONLINE

Fiji should expect a baby boom in the next few months as a result of the COVID-19 movement restrictions, says Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji clinic manager Taraivosa Nakolinivalu.

However, she said a lot of young mothers regretted getting pregnant in the middle of the virus outbreak because of the possible health risks associated with it.

Ms Nakolinivalu said the association recorded high numbers of expectant mothers at its antenatal clinic this year.

She said this could be attributed to movement restrictions during the second wave of the pandemic in March.

“Majority of the pregnant women that we speak to are young who regret getting pregnant because of the current conditions we are in,” Ms Nakolinivalu said.

“We don’t blame them because it is human nature.

“Hunger and sex are two instincts that all humans go through and it has to be satisfied at some point.

“However, couples need to be taught that they can plan their families and their family sizes to help them meet the current conditions we are in.

“We want to advise couples and women out there that our service is available to them and we are an NGO that provides counselling for free to those in need even if we are requested to come into homes and communities.”

Ms Nakolinivalu said a lot of focus was on the pandemic but issues such as reproductive health must also be addressed, especially during these times.

She said they were approached last Saturday by the Health Ministry to partner in offering antenatal services for expectant mothers in the Raiwai, Raiwaqa and Vatuwaqa areas in Suva.

Ms Nakolinivalu said as of Tuesday, they had received 50 women and were expecting the numbers to increase.

She said antenatal clinics were conducted every Tuesday and interested persons could contact them on 7736175 or 3305604.

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