The physiology of the girl-child makes her naturally unprepared for birthing. one huge reason child marriage is killing Nigerian girls, notes a report by Save the Children International (SCI).
According to the report to mark the International Day of the Girl Child, Global Girlhood Report revealed that early child marriage in Nigeria kills not less than 60 young Nigerian girls annually.
This figure is from an estimated 44 of every 100 girls who are married out before their 18th birthday, regarded as one of the highest rates of child marriage around the world.
The report points out sadly that the rate of marrying off young Nigerian girls would not likely decrease because the girls are living in one of the most difficult times.
The country is experiencing armed conflict, humanitarian crisis, kidnapping, natural disaster, displacement, COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession hence the lives of millions of girls are being threatened to be pushed into the basket of deprivation, says the report.
It is estimated from the new analysis that an estimated 22,000 girls are dying annually from pregnancy and childbirth that occur due to child marriage around the world.
According to the report, with the highest rate of child marriage in the world, West and Central Africa records nearly half (9,600) of all estimated child marriage-related deaths globally with about 26 deaths a day
Some of the other reasons why child marriage is killing include reduced access to education, nutrition, lack of protection, and lack of access to basic social services, the State of Nigerian Girls Report revealed.
From the Save the Children report, the west and central Africa regional teenage maternal mortality rate is four times higher than anywhere else in the world.
Chief Executive Officer of SCI Inger Ashing said: “Child marriage is one of the worst and deadliest forms of sexual and gender-based violence against girls.
“Every year, millions are forced into wedlock with men who are often much older, robbing them of an opportunity to keep learning, be children, and in many cases, to survive.
“Childbirth is the number one killer of teenaged girls because their young bodies aren’t ready to bear children.
“The health risks of children having children cannot, and must not, be ignored. Governments must prioritize girls and ensure they’re protected from child marriage and premature childbirth-related deaths can only happen if girls have a say in the decisions that affect them”, said Ashing.