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A group by name Ipas Ghana Youth Advisory Board (IYAB Ghana) has bemoaned the rate at which women are losing their lives due to unsafe abortions. It has thus advocated among other things that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) absorb bills of approved safe abortions as a measure to abate the phenomenon.
The group, reacting to the World Health Organisation’s 2010-2014 report which says over 47,000 women die annually due to unsafe abortion out of which Ipas Ghana says 90% occurred in Africa.
The group is not convinced why the authority does not absorb the safe abortion charges, instead absorbs that of unsafe abortion related complications which according to IYAB Gh sometimes cost higher than safe abortion costs.
According to the group, since the laws of Ghana allow women or girls to have safe abortion on certain conditions such as rape, incest, mental health reasons etc, government must pay keen attention to ensure safe abortion by putting up drastic measures that would seek to curb the menace.
The group made this at a media engagement held in Cape Coast in the Central Region (CR) on Tuesday.
Addressing the media on the theme: “Ending Unsafe Abortion in Ghana:Stigma and Cost of Comprehensive Abortion Care Services; A major Challenge,” the Communication and Advocacy chairman of the group, Philip Duah, recommended that access to family planning services be increased and also, Ghana Health Service (GHS) standardises safe abortion charges at the various approved safe abortion facilities in order for all the approved facilities to charge uniformly.
“As current members of the Ipas Ghana Youth Advisory board, our main aim is to help Ipas to achieve its aim of ensuring women’s access to full range of reproductive health services, including family planning and safe abortion. In ending problems associated with unsafe abortion and unwanted pregnancies, we strongly recommend increasing access to family plannning services for all and addressing problems associated with services provision such as stigma,” Mr Duah lamented
The chairman further entreated the media, traditional leaders, the clergy and other stakeholders to join hands in dealing with the situation.
“We continue to hope that safe abortion care will, someday, become a reality for everyone. With increasing attacks and restrictions on abortion access worldwide, we have our work cut out as young people to ensure that the youth in Ghana are well informed and are able to make informed decisions on matters relating to their reproductive rights.
“As young people we believe that the fight to remove restrictions on family planning, safe abortion services and other reproductive rights is a collective responsibility. If we as young people refuse to work collectively to educate those who are not informed, misinformed, socially or ethnically marginalized and isolated in society then we will have more young people dying each year out of unsafe abortion,” the chairman projected
He further advised parents not to feel shy in openly speaking about sexuality to their wards saying, “because of cultural taboos against speaking speaking openly about sexuality, young women may not have been given factually correct information on mestruation, fertility, pregnancy, preventing pregnancy, recognizing the signs and symptoms of pregnancy and where and how to seek qualified assistance.”
Source: Kojo Ata Kakrah Abrowah || ghananewsonline.com.gh
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