Kenya – Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central

Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central

August 22, 2019
By Melvine P. Ouyo

In 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health made the devastating decision to withdraw the Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion. This caused a huge influx in untrained back street abortions, immense suffering, and the loss of countless lives. After six years of irreversible damage from this decision, Kenya’s High Court issued a clear ruling this summer: the government had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by withdrawing the Standards and Guidelines. It was a revolutionary moment for Kenyan communities.

The worldwide movement to give women freedom to choices first culminated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brought diverse views of human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development. It marked a global consensus that placed human dignity and human rights—including the right to plan a family—at the heart of development.

Continued: https://www.africa.com/standards-are-not-enough-policy-implementation-remains-central/

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Kenya – Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights

Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights
Ruling allowing abortion will reduce maternal deaths, give women right to health

by Evelyn Odhiambo
07 August 2019

Approximately seven women and girls die daily as a result of unsafe abortion whereas Sh533 million is used in treating complications related to unsafe abortion. Many of these women are left infertile or with lifelong disabilities and haemorrhage.

Girls and women in informal settlements are mostly affected, coupled with abortion-related stigma. Restrictive laws on termination of pregnancy result in women seeking services from unqualified medical personnel where the minimum cost is Sh1,500 not forgetting the limited chances of survival and complications.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-08-07-denial-of-abortion-services-violates-womens-rights/

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Kenya – ‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera

‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera
With terminations outlawed in Kenya, women and girls in its largest slum have to rely on expensive and unreliable under-the-counter pills, toxic chemicals or other homemade remedies. The consequences can be fatal

Tracy McVeigh in Kibera
Mon 5 Aug 2019

Edita Ochieng sashays up in her “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt – bright and new in a place where clothes are aged and faded.

“Got them,” she stage-whispers, a flash of silver foil in her hand. Four pills carefully cut from a longer strip. Ochieng has just been attempting to buy abortion pills from among the numerous kiosk-sized “quack” chemists in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. Just to show how easy it is.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/aug/05/we-lose-so-many-women-the-tragedy-of-unsafe-abortion-in-kibera

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Kenya – Abortion where mother’s health is at risk is a right

Abortion where mother's health is at risk is a right
Lack of access to safe legal abortion causes many women to resort to illegal, unsafe abortion.

by Betty Odallo, Lucy Minayo and Martin Onyango
20 July 2019

JMM was a 14-year-old schoolgirl, living in rural Kisii when sometime in 2014, she was forced to have sexual intercourse. Due to a lack of information on how to respond to the situation, or whom to approach, she was not able to receive immediate post-rape care, including emergency contraception.

Two months later, JMM discovered she was pregnant. Fearing blame and rejection from her family, she confided in a friend who took her to an untrained person who performed an unsafe abortion on her.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-07-20-abortion-where-mothers-health-is-at-risk-is-a-right/

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Kenya – Abortion stigma denies survivors speedy treatment

Abortion stigma denies survivors speedy treatment
Medical staff fear in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested

by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
17 July 2019

Cultures that do not allow pregnancy before marriage and fear by health workers to attend to survivors of unsafe abortion cause a delay in providing post-abortion care hence increasing abortion-related deaths.

At the facilities, medical personnel will not attend to women who had attempted procuring abortion as they fear that in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-07-17-abortion-stigma-denies-survivors-speedy-treatment/

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Kenya – Health ministry must obey court on abortion guidelines

Health ministry must obey court on abortion guidelines

Tuesday July 16 2019
By JOACHIM OSUR

The High Court recently nullified the Ministry of Health’s withdrawal of service delivery standards and guidelines and a training curriculum on abortion that had been in force for close to six years.

When the current Constitution was being written, abortion was a major contentious issue. Some campaigners against the draft used abortion to get votes at the referendum. Many of abortion-based arguments were confusing, with opponents out to convince all and sundry that the new Constitution would open floodgates for abortion.

Continued: https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Health-ministry-must-obey-court-on-abortion-guidelines/440808-5198506-xuya3mz/index.html

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Kenya – Guidelines can stop unnecessary abortion deaths

Guidelines can stop unnecessary abortion deaths
Unsafe abortions could be one of the main causes of maternal mortality in Kenya.

By GEORGE MORARA
July 11, 2019

In April 2012, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights released a report on the status of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Kenya. This was the result of a public inquiry following a complaint by the Federation of Women Lawyers and the Centre for Reproductive Rights that, despite having in place a progressive legal and policy framework, women and girls still face sexual and reproductive health violations.

ARBITRARILY DRAWN

The KNCHR cited several barriers that impede access to quality sexual and reproductive health services — including unavailability of abortion and post-abortion services, lack of accurate and comprehensive information and high cost of services.

Continued: https://mobile.nation.co.ke/blogs/Guidelines-can-stop-unnecessary-abortion-deaths/1949942-5192566-ck62ik/index.html

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Trump’s foreign aid policies endanger women, experts say

Trump's foreign aid policies endanger women, experts say
“If it was done at the end of a gun, it would be denounced before the International Criminal Court,” the U.N. human rights commissioner said.

July 2, 2019
By Linda Givetash

LONDON — Caroline Nyandat will never forget the day she watched a 14-year-old girl die due to complications from an unsafe abortion.

Nyandat, 36, was then completing her training as a nurse midwife in Kisumu, Kenya, when the teen was in need of surgery but suffered from sepsis before doctors in the hospital could react.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/trump-s-foreign-aid-policies-endanger-women-experts-say-n1018056

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Kenya restores standards and guidelines for comprehensive reproductive health, including abortion

Kenya restores standards and guidelines for comprehensive reproductive health, including abortion

IPAS
News | Friday, June 21, 2019

Earlier this month, Kenya made progress toward advancing women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights: The High Court ruled to restore the standards and guidelines for comprehensive reproductive health, including abortion. The S&Gs were originally instated in 2012 but withdrawn the following year. The reinstatement will allow providers to offer safe abortion care when the health or life of a woman is in danger, in cases of emergency and for survivors of sexual violence. Ipas Africa Alliance partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on a case in 2015 challenging the withdrawal. CRR filed the case on behalf of an adolescent who died after suffering from complications from an unsafe abortion. The Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya and human rights activists were also part of the coalition supporting the challenge.

“I am glad that Ipas was able to join other partners in Kenya to support the litigation strategy initiated by CRR,” said Judith Okal, Ipas Africa Alliance senior policy advisor. Okal was an advocate for the petitioner when CRR filed the case and joined Ipas after it was filed.

The court found that the Director of Medical Services and the Ministry of Health had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by arbitrarily withdrawing the guidelines, creating uncertainty about the status of legal abortion and discouraging medical providers from performing abortions for fear of criminal prosecution.

For more information, contact media@ipas.org.

Source: https://www.ipas.org/news/2019/June/kenya-restores-standards-and-guidelines-for-comprehensive-reproductive-health-including-abortion

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Kenya – Unsafe abortion complications eat into health budget

Unsafe abortion complications eat into health budget
Money spent on treating these complications could have been used to provide family planning services

by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
18 June 2019

Treatment of complications of unsafe abortion consumes a disproportionate amount of health systems resources in Kenya including staff time and acquisition of medical supplies.

Last year, severe complications from unsafe abortion accounted for 54 per cent of the total health costs. Post-abortion care also consumes a significant amount of resources that would otherwise be spent on other areas of health including reproductive, maternal and child health.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-06-18-unsafe-abortion-complications-eat-into-health-budget/

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