More than 1.4 million unplanned pregnancies are a consequence of the isolation regime and other measures taken to combat the pandemic. This was reported by Xinhua with reference to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
A press release from the organization notes contraception problems in 115 low- and middle-income countries since last year. Travel restrictions, interrupted supply chains and congested healthcare facilities have disrupted access to family planning tools.
At the same time, "many countries, especially those with high incomes, are showing early signs of a sharp decline in fertility," the fund said in a statement.
“Taken together, the results show how dramatically women's reproductive destinies have changed and their preferences have been undermined by the pandemic,” UNFPA said.
According to the organization, unplanned pregnancies place a huge strain on families suffering from financial problems associated with the pandemic. In addition, they are associated with an increase in maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as in the number of unsafe abortions.
It is noted that disruptions to family planning services affected about 12 million women, mainly in April and May last year. Their average duration is 3.6 months.
However, the situation could have gotten worse without the quick action that has enabled many health systems to maintain or restore access to essential health services, including contraception. The foundation said it has been able to deliver contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies and personal protective equipment for health workers thanks to swift action, even as prices rise and supply chain constraints. Among the successful finds are the use of a taxi call application for the delivery of contraceptives, SMS messages and targeted family planning consultations in quarantine centers.