A meaningful response to obstetric violence requires political will from policy-makers and accountability for government failures.
Khatondi Soita Wepukhulu
16 October 2020
Global leaders must act urgently to ensure that safety and dignity in pregnancy and childbirth become automatic, integral parts of the maternal health care experience of all women.
On 18 September 2020, a harrowing video appeared on Twitter. It showed a woman, Jackline Faustina, giving birth on the road outside Nairobi’s Pumwani maternity hospital. The woman, it was said and later confirmed by city authorities, had been denied entry into the hospital. It was the second day of a ‘go-slow’ industrial action by hospital staff.
October 7, 2020
Despite large reductions in pregnancy related deaths in Uganda over the past two decades (the maternal mortality ratio dropped from 684 to 100,000 live births in 1995 to 343 per 100,000 in 2015 as per Ministry of Health records), the high number of maternal deaths remains a public health challenge.
Unsafe abortion continues to contribute significantly
to maternal morbidity and mortality. A 2010 report by the Ministry of Health
estimated that 8% of maternal deaths were due to unsafe abortion.
By JOHN LAZAME TINDANBIL
Oct 4, 2020
Bolgatanga, Ghana — The COVID-19 pandemic is setting back important progress on women’s health across Africa. There are many reasons for this, including lockdown restrictions which are keeping women at home, concerns about catching the virus, and the closure of women’s health services. These problems are not simple ones, but they to be acknowledged and addressed.
In my own country, Ghana, where my organisation runs safe abortion and family planning services in the north of the country, we saw a sharp drop in the number of women accessing our services from April to August 2020, compared to the same period last year.
28 SEPTEMBER 2020, Nyasa Times (Leeds)
By Green Muheya
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Mathews Ngwale has challenged the youth in the country to lobby their members of Parliament to support the Termination of Pregnancy Bill also known as the Abortion Bill when it is tabled in Parliament.
Ngwale, who is expected to move the motion on the bill as a private member motion, said Malawi has lost a lot of young girls and women who could have lived if the laws had not been prohibitive.
Sept 28, 2020
Lilongwe — Members of Parliament of the Health Committee have pledged to ensure the tabling of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill in the current sitting of the National Assembly.
The MPs made the pledge at a dinner organized by SRHR organisations in Lilongwe recently.
SEP 28, 2020
The restrictive, colonial, and archaic 1930 Revised Penal Code abortion law has never reduced the number of women inducing abortion. It has only endangered the lives of hundreds of thousands of Filipino women who have made personal decisions to induce abortion for various reasons (economic - 75%; too young, under 25 years old - 46%; health reasons - one-third; rape - 13%) but are unable to access safe abortion services.
No restrictive law nor religious dogma has stopped these Filipino women, especially poor women with at least 3 children, to end their unintended or unwanted pregnancies.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
Health and Human Rights Journal
UN Experts joined together to remind states of their human rights duty to ensure access to contraception for anyone who wants it, including during COVID-19. On World Contraception Day (26 September), the experts, led by the new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, states, “The right to sexual and reproductive health includes women’s freedom to decide whether to be pregnant, how many children to have, and to space pregnancies. It also imposes a core obligation on States to provide the essential medicines of the relevant WHO List which includes contraceptives.”
COVID-19 has made it more difficult for women to access family planning services with restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as production and supply chains being disrupted. However, the state obligations remain in place, and the experts said people are entitled to information and access to health care facilities irrespective of lockdown conditions.
By EVELYNE ODHIAMBO
September 25th 2020
Without a doubt, abortion is a controversial subject in this country. It evokes a lot of emotion and receives opposition from religious leaders, conservative pockets of society and anti-choice groups.
Yet no matter how much we may try to moralise abortion, women and girls’ lives remain at risk. An estimated 2,600 Kenyan women die from unsafe abortions annually (approximately seven every day), according to a joint 2016 report by the Ministry of Health and the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC).
25th September 2020
Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Marie Stopes International, Nigeria , said on Friday, that, through its routine family planning campaign across states in Nigeria between January and June, no fewer than 7,516 estimated maternal deaths was averted, while 37,475 estimated child deaths was also prevented.
It added that no fewer than 1,279,924 persons across Nigeria used a family planning method provided through one of its service delivery channels which led to the prevention of 1,503,457 unintended pregnancies and 529,577 estimated unsafe abortion.
Ogungbile Emmanuel Oludotun, University of Ibadan
September 14, 2020
On 11th September 2020, Daily Times, a foremost Nigerian Newspaper reported that the former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, lost his daughter, Sadiya, who reportedly died during child-birth. Sadiya died at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, on Thursday. It was sad that the 23-year-old lady died in event of complications arising from childbirth. So I wondered even the elite also suffers from maternal mortality? This is 2020 and we are still talking about the high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria which breeds death of millions of people who should not have died, most especially the first-timers.
Specifically today, we still talk of maternal mortality as a major risk for women of childbearing age in Nigeria. The country’s maternal mortality ratio has always stayed elevated despite efforts to curb maternal deaths.