Media practitioners build capacity in reproductive health reporting
Ipas Ghana, an international organisation working to promote women’s reproductive health, has held a one-day workshop on unsafe abortion for media practitioners.
The programme was to sensitise the media practitioners to the need to promote access to rights-based clinically safe and appropriate comprehensive abortion care for women who qualify to access abortion services under the law.
The participants, who were from the public and private media, are all members of the Media Action Team for Reproductive Health (MAT-RH), a media advocacy network for reproductive health.
Ms Cynthia Tawiah, an official of Ipas, said the goal of the sensitisation programme was to equip the media practitioners to articulate the legal indications for safe abortion care and the key elements of the reproductive health policy and Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) standards and protocols in Ghana.
She stressed that one out of every 10 pregnancy-related deaths in the country was due to unsafe abortion.
According to Ms Tawiah, any woman who required termination of pregnancy under the law could access safe services without too much hindrance and with less complications from most of the public health facilities.
However, she stressed that this was not known by many and, therefore, women continued to fall prey to unqualified persons (quacks) who offered them sub-standard services in unapproved premises and sometimes took advantage of their clients.
Many also make the hospital their last resort when they do not succeed in their attempt to abort through unsafe procedures, she added.
This sometimes results in deaths or permanent disability due to complications.
“It is time for media practitioners to separate their personal beliefs from their professional roles, as they are in the position to advocate the provision of safe abortion services to save lives,” Ms Tawiah indicated.
She explained that CAC was a package of care which began with the counselling of any woman who reported to the facility to seek safe abortion care.
Where the woman still opts to terminate a pregnancy after the counselling, she is offered the service by a registered and trained practitioner and thereafter put on a family planning method so she does not return with another unwanted pregnancy, she added.