Concern raised over unsafe abortions
20 May 2013, 15:41
Kisumu - Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET), executive director, Monica Ogutu has said Kenya’s health statistics indicate that up to 300, 000 unsafe abortions occur annually.
Ogutu explained that this translates to 819 cases of unsafe abortion occurring on a daily basis with majority being conducted by quacks.
Following this, she disclosed, KMET has initiated an elaborate training for nurses and midwives in a bid to curb unsafe abortion blamed for high mortality rate across the country.
She made the remarks, while presiding over a training forum aimed at enhancing the capacity of health providers to enable them offer quality abortion related services only when necessary to save lives as stipulated in Kenya’s Constitution.
“Our health providers should understand comprehensive abortion care services including the use of Manual Vacuum Aspiration, Medical Abortion and Post Abortion Care”, Ogutu told the training forum held at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu County.
KMET has established that over 20, 000 women get admitted to public health facilities with abortion related complications with lots of money spent every year to treat such complications.
According to KMET program coordinator, Caroline Nyandat, most women have to contend with the long-term consequences attributed to unsafe abortions, apart from the stigmatization in society which makes the victims hide to escape public ridicule.
“It is this kind of behavior that has pushed women to seek unsafe abortion services from quacks who masquerade as professional medics but are only out to fleece the public, while endangering their lives as well”, she reiterated.
Deputy Director of Medical Services, Dr. Paul Mitei on his part expressed fear that Kenya may not achieve the set target of 75% in reducing mortality rate by 2015 in line with the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Dr. Mitei attributed this to rampant unsafe abortion conducted by quacks in the backstreets with the mortality rate as a result of abortions standing at 30%.
‘Our people must be warned to stop seeking unsafe abortion services from such quacks or untrained personnel, if they hope to stop further stigmatization associated with the act,’ said Dr. Mitei.
He warned that unsafe abortion remains a criminal act which attracts severe legal punishment by the Kenyan courts.
Dr. Mitei pointed out that abortion cost varies from KES 500 to KES 1000 depending on where one goes to seek the service and whether it is conducted by a professional medic or a quack.
Most speakers observed that there is a worrying trend which requires concerted efforts by the various partners to reduce the deaths as most people misused abortion in Western Kenya region, thus leading to the high mortality rate.
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