Unsafe abortion contributing to high maternal mortality
UNSAFE abortion is a significant contributor to high maternal mortality in Zambia, the Ministry of Health has observed.
In a speech read for him during a meeting on the findings of the operations research on unsafe abortion in Zambia this week, Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said unsafe abortion contributes about 30 percent to maternal deaths in Zambia.
The research was conducted by IPAS, a global non-governmental organisation dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortion.
Dr Kasonde said it is imperative to address the scourge if the country is to stop women from dying unnecessarily and also to attain the millennium development goal (MDG) number 5 on maternal health.
“Unsafe aborting is one of the causes of maternal mortality. The issues surrounding abortion are not well known because of the stigma that is associated with it. Many women are dying from unsafe abortion whilst society is watching and putting the blame on the innocent woman, the Minister said.
Dr Kasonde said his ministry is happy that IPAS has been providing the technical and financial assistance for carrying out safe abortions.
Being an emotive issue, abortion has continued to be shrouded in controversy resulting in women dying or suffering complications due to unsafe abortion.
And IPAS Zambia says the activities it is carrying out on safe abortion in Lusaka and other towns countrywide are paying off.
“Ensuring access to safe, legal abortion care and preventing unsafe abortions and unwanted pregnancies could save Zambian women‘s health and save the country thousands of dollars,” Felicia Sakala said.
Ms Sakala says her organisation believes that every woman has the right to safe reproductive health choices, including safe abortion care, adding that with abortion being legal in Zambia no woman should have to risk her life, health, fertility, or her well-being and that of her family because she lacks reproductive health care. “Women have reproductive rights and it is important to recognise them. Women everywhere must have the opportunity to determine their future, care for their families and manage their fertility,” she said. / Daily Mail