The crisis, she said has caused many outstretched health systems to scale back sexual and reproductive health services, which are often not deemed essential.
Dr Kanem said the pandemic might have lasting consequences on the population, adding that for some people, it has led to postponing childbearing, while for others, the disruptions in health care have resulted in unintended pregnancies. Wherein
She made these remarks during the celebration of the World Population Day on Sunday adding that while these services are a human right, they have been shunted aside in favour or more pressing concerns.
Amid economic pressures and budget cuts, she says there is a real risk that some may fail to restore these services.
“Although we are yet to get a full picture of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on infertility, these trends have provoked alarmist concerns about baby booms or busts.
“What should cause alarm is when women cannot exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and choices, whether because health services are interrupted, or because gender discrimination prevents them from making decisions about accessing health care, using contraception or engaging in sex with their partners,” she said.
She said what leads to healthy and productive societies is when women can make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health and when they have access to services to support their choices.