Ministry of Health to Roll Out National Post Abortion Care Program

3073 Views Kampala, Uganda
The Ministry of Health will next year launch a nationwide Post Abortion Care and Treatment program. Dr. Florence Ebanyat, the Commissioner for Reproductive Health, explains that the program is intended to reduce the number of women who die of complications arising from abortions and poor handling of patients. She says between 35 and 45 percent of maternal deaths in Uganda are due to poor care for women who have had abortions. Dr. Ebanyat says the Post Abortion Care and Treatment program already exists in major hospitals and will be rolled it out to all district hospitals and health centers. She says it will also involve an education and sensitization program on reproductive health and family planning. According to the World Health Organization complications from spontaneous abortions and unsafely induced abortions pose a serious global threat to women's health and lives. An estimated 46 million induced abortions are performed annually with about 20 million being unsafe. In many other cases, unsafe abortion causes such long-term consequences as chronic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal occlusion and secondary infertility. In 2005 researchers from Mulago Hospital completed a study called Abortion and Post abortion Care in Uganda: A Report from Health Care Professionals and Health Facilities. The study found that the typical woman who seeks an abortion in Uganda is between the ages of 15 and 19 years old, has a secondary education, lives in an urban area, has never been married and has no children. It showed that women in Uganda try to end a pregnancy for many reasons, such as having too many children already, living in poverty, having children who are too close in age, being unmarried, having conceived at the wrong time, being in poor health or having become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. According to the study the likelihood that women with abortion complications seek treatment from a health facility depends upon their relative affluence and whether they live in a rural or urban area. Very few poor rural women turn to health facilities when they experience complications, increasing the risk to their lives.

 

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