A new report from the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) claims that 214 of the 687 women and girls rescued from Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest are pregnant.
UNFPA’s executive director Babatunde Osotimehin said, “Already, as at yesterday (Saturday), 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."
The freed captives have also endured tremendous emotional abuse, and Nigeria lacks the counseling resources to reintegrate them into society.
The UNFPA is now asking for foreign assistance with therapy for the girls and women.
"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,” Osotimehin said in the report.
All Africa reports Osotimehin encouraged villages to welcome the freed captives back into their communities, as “that is an important therapy too.”
Publication date: May 4, 2015