Poor service delivery in rural areas fuelling abortion

Poor service delivery in rural areas is said to be fuelling unsafe abortions among teenagers in the country.

This was revealed at a capacity building training workshop on reporting abortion organised by Centre for Solution Journalism at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on Saturday.

Speaking at the workshop, President of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist in Malawi Dr. Chisali Mhango blamed poor service delivery in rural areas mostly on access to family planning methods as a major cause of concern.

Mhango added that Malawi is losing almost USD314,000 annually to treat those with complications due to unsafe abortion which has affected greatly the economic status of the country.

“The issue of abortion is of great concern to the country’s economy, going by statistics of 2004 Demographic Health Survey at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, 68% of women were on treatment table due to unsafe abortion which is costly to the government of Malawi when treating,” said Mhango.

In his remarks, Ministry of Justices Mike Chinoko said abortion remains an offence under the current law adding it is only done on one condition when the mother’s life is at risk.

Inkosi Mabulabo of Mzimba said as Traditional Leaders they blame openness as a crucial thing that hinders abortion in the country.

Some religious groups in the country have since offered support for the tabling and reviewing of pregnancy termination bill to be tabled in Parliament.