Indonesia faces spike in births driven by COVID-19 lockdowns hinh anh 1Doctors in protective gear with newborn babies wearing face shields as measures against COVID-19 in the Indonesian province of Aceh (Photo: AFP)
Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesia is facing a baby boom as lockdowns induced by COVID-19 cut access to birth control, said the national family planning agency (BKKBN).

By early next year, Indonesia - the world's fourth most populous country - could see 420,000 more babies born than would otherwise be expected, the agency estimated.

The figure is based on 10 percent of its 28 million member nationwide family planning practice having trouble getting birth control recorded in March. About 4.8 million babies are born annually in Indonesia, a country of nearly 270 million.

Many clinics have shut, while those that remain open have limited the number of people they serve, said the agency’s chief Hasto Wardoyo.

The one-month decline in contraceptive use alone could push up pregnancies by 15 percent, or around 420,000 pregnancies, within a month to three months, according to BKKBN’s estimate. 

A further drop within three months will increase pregnancies by up to 30 percent, or above 800,000, within another few months.

The absence of contraception, Hasto noted, may cause unwanted pregnancies, which could take a psychological toll on women and have longer-term repercussions, such as stunted development in children of poor families that cannot afford proper nutrition.

The pandemic is "bad timing" for women to get pregnant, as many are unable to obtain proper health care services, Hasto said, urging couples to use contraceptive methods./.