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Rate of unsafe abortion is worrying – Specialist

2008-06-06 14:39:26
This article has been read 946 times.

The rate at which cases of unsafe abortion are reported to Health Care Centres in the Upper East Region is worryingly high, Dr. Abdul-Razak Dokurugu, a Reproductive Health Management Specialist on Wednesday said.

“We see cases of young women, most of them unmarried and a few married ones who are brought to hospital bleeding profusely or very sick because of infection resulting from unsafe abortion that was done using a stick or a piece of metal to insert into the woman in a bid to destroy the foetus”.

Dr. Dokurugu, also the Medical Superintendent of Bongo Hospital said this in Bolgatanga at a workshop on; Reducing the Burden of Unsafe Abortion, The Role of Comprehensive Abortion Care organized by Pathfinder International, an NGO for Journalists.

Other methods that are used for unsafe abortion include, the use of herbs, overdose of some drugs like paracetamol, chloroguine,
Misoprostol, a combination of drugs and alcohol, ingestion of broken bottles and uterine evacuation by quacks.

He said unsafe abortion accounted for 20 to 30 per cent of all
pregnancy related deaths in the country as compared to the global figure of 13 per cent.

“Data from the Ghana Demographic Health Survey of 1998 show that 11 per cent of males and 16 per cent of females aged 12 to 24 years who ever had sex reported ever being involved in terminating a pregnancy. 31 per cent of teenagers knew of at least one unmarried teenage female friend who had had an abortion,” he noted.

Dr. Dokurugu said that, even though abortion was illegal in the
country, the law on it was quite liberal and gave exceptional cases when it could be safely done at approved hospitals by qualified medical officers.

According to him, the law allowed abortion to be done in hospitals when there is evidence that the pregnant woman’s physical or mental health would be endangered if the pregnancy is allowed to progress and in cases of rape when the woman does not want to deliver the baby.

He advised all sexually active women who do not want to have
children at a particular time to go to Antenatal care centres for family planning services where they would be counselled and given the right Family Planning method for their body system.

Comprehensive Abortion Care Project Coordinator, Pathfinder International, Mr. John Lazame, appealed to religious leaders to educate the youth not only on the spiritual implications of abortion but also the physical side effects that could sometimes be fatal.


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