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‘More women die from unsafe abortion’

BY: Samuel Duodu

Unsafe abortion claims the lives of over 47,000 women globally each year, with Africa recording more than 90 per cent of the total deaths.

Frequent,unnecessary and unsafe abortion committed by the youth, as well as the lack of access to reproductive health services, could be the causes.

The Communication and Advocacy Chairman of IPAS Ghana’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB), Mr Philip Duah, said this when he addressed the press last Monday after a stakeholders meeting.

He has, therefore, called for strong and persistent efforts by the government, related organisations and institutions to work at improving reproductive health services, particularly for the youth, to help reduce the high rate of unsafe abortion and related deaths.

IPAS

IPAS is a global non-profit-making organisation that works to increase women's ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, and to reduce maternal mortality as a result of unsafe abortion.

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The YAB under IPAS is a board set up by IPAS Ghana to work at improving reproductive health services among the youth.

IPAS is currently operating in the Ashanti, Eastern and Greater Accra regions.

Reproductive health

Mr Duah said it was a fundamental human right that all women should have access to reproductive health and family planning services, including abortion services.

“Under the laws of Ghana, certain conditions allow a woman or girl to have safe abortion,” he added.

Those conditions, he said, included rape, incest, mental health and other health risks to the mother or the unborn child.

“The main aim of IPAS is not to increase the rate of abortion in Ghana but to reduce the mortality rate of women as a result of unsafe abortion,” he stressed.

Training

Mr Duah added that IPAS would train more service providers on how to treat women and girls with unwanted pregnancy, renovate health facilities with the right tools for safe abortion and train peer educators on how to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

He advised the youth to become advocates by educating one another on safe methods and stop taking concoctions which were dangerous to their health.

He also urged them to use contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies, saying abstinence is the best option.

He also advised parents, teachers and traditional leaders to speak openly about menstruation, pregnancy and fertility, as well as how to seek qualified assistance on reproductive health for the youth.