Safe Access to Abortion Crucial to Reducing Maternal Mortality in Kenya
First Lady Kenyatta’s “Beyond Zero” Campaign Ignores Key Issue
March 14, 2019
Agnes Odhiambo, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division
Five years ago, Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, launched the “Beyond Zero” campaign to eradicate preventable maternal and child mortality in Kenya. The initiative has drawn support and criticism in equal measure from Kenyans, and it has earned this criticism by ignoring a crucial aspect of women’s health – access to safe abortion.
A charity half marathon last weekend to mobilize resources for the campaign was met with wide-ranging criticism from Kenyans. Activists infiltrated part of the run to stage an anti-corruption protest, arguing that corruption and government failure to prosecute officials implicated in these crimes are the main factors behind Kenya’s failing health sector. Other critics say that the first lady’s campaign is diverting much-needed resources from the public health system.
Unsafe abortion: A forgotten emergency
Mar 7, 2019
Unsafe abortion remains one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality, despite the fact that it is almost always preventable.
More than 22,000 women and girls die each year after having an unsafe abortion, according to a comprehensive report published by the Guttmacher Institute in 2018.
Since 1990 the world has made significant progress to reduce the other main causes of maternal deaths—severe bleeding, severe infection, blood pressure disorders, and obstructed labor—yet there has been little improvement to diminish the dangers of unsafe abortion.
Improvement of availability and quality of safe abortion services discussed in Bishkek
Bishkek, Nov. 21, 2018. /Kabar/
A technical meeting on “Improvement of availability and quality of safe abortion services” is being held in Bishkek.
Experts told that despite the existence of safe, simple and effective interventions based on the principles of evidence-based medicine, almost 22 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, which continues to contribute considerably to the global burden of maternal morbidity and mortality.
In Kyrgyzstan, in 2015, the maternal mortality rate was the highest among the Central Asian countries, 6.3 times higher than in Kazakhstan, 2.4 times higher than in Tajikistan, 1.8 times higher than in Turkmenistan, and 2.1 times higher than in Uzbekistan.
Banning Marie Stopes services will be felt by the poor
Monday November 19 2018
Information is power. When people have access to accurate information on how to remain healthy and where to get services, they are more likely to make informed decisions.
The decision by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board to ban Marie Stopes Kenya from conducting abortions, publishing safe abortion information on its website and running safe abortion adverts is uncalled for.
Clandestine Abortion in Zimbabwe Contributes to Maternal Medical Complications
Four in 10 Women Who Have an Abortion Experience Complications That Require Treatment
October 25, 2018
Nearly all abortions in Zimbabwe are clandestine, with many resulting in complications that require medical treatment. However, half of women who experience complications from unsafe abortion in Zimbabwe never receive the care they need. These findings come from a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences Clinical Trials Research Centre (UZCHS-CTRC), the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care and the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute. The study, which provides the first comprehensive estimates of the incidence of abortion and postabortion care in Zimbabwe, was conducted in an effort to understand the potential impact of unsafe abortion on maternal injury and death in a country that has among the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. The findings are based on surveys of all health facilities in the country, as well as experts on abortion and women seeking postabortion care—which includes treatment for complications from unsafe abortion and miscarriage—and were published in the journals PLOS ONE and BMJ Open.
Prime Minister & Trump urged to discuss sexual healthcare by RCOG & FSRH
By Hannah Alderton
July 13, 2018
Presidents of key organisations supporting the rights of women and girls across the world are calling on Theresa May to raise the crucial issue of sexual and reproductive health with the US President Donald Trump during their bilateral talks.
In a joint letter, Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), write:
Safe abortion case puts Health ministry on the spot
By Dzuya Walter For Citizen Digital
July 11, 2018
Fida Kenya and the Centre for Reproductive Rights are challenging the decision taken by the ministry saying it’s a violation of women rights. They further argue that the affected women are forced to seek abortion care from quacks and face serious risks of damage to their health and others lead to death. The lobby groups insist that it is important that the Ministry advises when health workers should provide safe and legal abortion.
The Ministry of Health has said it is in the process of getting new guidelines on safe abortion. According to Dr. Joel Gondi, Head of the Reproductive and Maternal Health Service Union, the government’s primary focus is to preserve life and reduce maternal morbidity.
Editorial ... Abortion is Not the Only Killer
Opinions - Editorials | 2017-03-31 11
'500 WOMEN die from abortion every year.' Perhaps such should be the news headlines to make Namibians understand we have a crisis, and all because of a lack of empathy.
Health minister Bernard Haufiku tried this week to highlight the magnitude of the problem when he announced that more than 7 300 women were treated at state health centres last year due to “illegal abortions” gone wrong. Haufiku said the figure could be as high as 10 000 –– at least 27 cases a day.
The minister called for “decriminalisation” of abortion, which is outlawed by legislation dating back to 1975. We can only imagine the minister is treading carefully for fear of a backlash from zealots, who view the issue as nothing but a callous crime commited by pregnant women.
Continued at source: The Namibian: http://www.namibian.com.na/52924/read/Editorial--Abortion-is-Not-the-Only-Killer
Having sex education is the only way out
Friday March 3 2017
By SARAH AGUNDA
Non-governmental health organisations in Kenya are alarmed at a decision made thousands of kilometres away that is bound to have devastating consequences on their operations. Recently, US President Donald Trump reinstated a government policy prohibiting granting of American foreign aid to NGOs in developing countries that offer abortion-related services.
This means that any Kenyan and other international organisations that have been receiving US funds for health programmes will now be required to certify that it does not provide abortion services, which include counselling, referrals, information or advocate the liberalisation of abortion laws, even with non-US funds. If a provider fails to sign the ‘global gag rule’, they lose the US funding, donated contraceptives and leadership and technical expertise.
Continued at source: Daily Nation: http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/having-sex-education-is-the-only-way-out--after-gag-rule/440808-3836050-14au5gh/