By LUMBIWE MWANZA -
GOVERNMENT has pledged to continue creating an enabling environment
for quality provision of reproductive health services.
Copperbelt provincial medical officer, Consity Mwale said the
stigma associated with abortion had further made it hard for people to
access safe abortion services.
This often resulted in permanent disability or loss of lives from the productive sector of the national population. Dr Mwale said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ndola District medical officer Kakungu Simpungwe during a stakeholders meeting on unsafe abortions at Fatmols Lodge in Ndola on Thursday.
He said health workers, religious, civic and community leaders had a cardinal role to play in ensuring pregnant women go for safe pregnancy abortion that would not endanger their lives.
He said Government had put in place the reproductive health policy, standards and guidelines for reducing unsafe abortion morbidity and mortality in Zambia. The World Health Organisation (WHO) safe abortion technical and policy guidance for health systems and the termination of Pregnancy Act 1972 were other policies available.
Dr Mwale said Government with the support from IPAS had introduced comprehensive abortion care services in five facilities in Kabushi, New Masala, Lubuto, Chipulukusu and Ndola Central Hospital. IPAS is a global non-profit organisation that works around the world to eliminate deaths and injuries from unsafe abortion and increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.
Dr Mwale said the compressive abortion care services that Government had put up were meant to care for women who have made up their mind to seek such services for various reasons.
The aim is to safe guard the lives of these women who take risks by using unsafe means of terminating the pregnancies.
He said due to the high number of unsafe abortion acts, WHO estimate 47,000 deaths every year out of the 22 million abortions performed.