Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Reviews (GARJERR) ISSN: 2315-5132
April 2013, 2(4): pp. 093-097
Copyright © 2013 Global Advanced Research Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Adolescents’ reproductive health rights and economic development in Nigeria
Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Accepted 11 March, 2013
Despite Nigeria’s abundant physical and human resource endowments, the economic growth rate has been as slow (1.7 %, 20011). This is probably due to the improper harmonization of demographic characteristics of the population and the natural resources. For instance high fertility rate can lead to rapid population growth. The Nigerian government’s efforts at slowing down population growth rate are targeted at female aged between ages 19-49. However adolescents girls aged between 15-19 years are already married and giving birth before age 20. Hence the total fertility rate remained high (5.2) with its consequent high proportion of youth in the population and high dependency ratio. Resource allocations for the different sectors of the economic therefore become limited because of the need to fend for the large proportion of the youth (consumers only). This therefore slows the rate of economic development. In other words, investing in the adolescent reproductive health needs is not only a right but crucial for any meaningful economic development. Information from the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey and other sources revealed that about 29% of adolescents are married and giving birth before the age of 20. Thus contributing to an annual population growth rate of 3.2%. This scenario imposes an unsustainable burden on the health care delivery and slow economic development. A keen focus on the development and human right of adolescence would not only enhance fertility reduction efforts but slow down population growth a necessary condition for any economy to development .Such efforts should include demystifying and including sex education in school based programmes. This will help to discourage unprotected sex, lower fertility and eventual slowing the rapid population growth.
Keywords: Adolescents, Reproductive Rights, Economic Development.