By CHINOYI CHIPULU
Zambia Association of Gynaecologists and Obstetrician (ZAGO) says Copperbelt has continued to record high rate of unsafe abortions among women aged between 25-34 years.
According to a research conducted between July and August 2021, Copperbelt is standing at 14 percentage which is twice the national level which stands at seven percent.
ZAGO president Swebby Macha said at a media briefing in Kitwe that the research is aimed at generating data towards reducing maternal mortality, currently estimated at seven percent.
Dr Macha said the research was conducted to seek solutions to the problems of unsafe abortion which continues to claim lives of women and girls.
He said most women conduct unsafe abortion because they are not aware of the legal framework for abortion services in Zambia.
“The women who indulge in these unsafe activities include those who live in high density areas, those not married, those from Copperbelt province and those who do not know where to seek safe abortion services,”he said.
Dr Macha explained that women delay to seek medical care because they fear the negative attitude from both their community and healthcare system towards abortion.
He further added that the study further revealed that women use a wide range of mechanisms to terminate their pregnancies in an unsafe condition which includes
herbal concoctions, sticks and other sharp objects.
“ We also found out challenges healthcare providers face when providing this service such as shortage of staff in health facilities, stigma from society that regards health officers as murderers or terminators and lack of public awareness among members of the public,”he said.
He said there is need to increase awareness on availability and legality of safe abortion services.
“There is is also need to consider incorporating comprehensive abortion care services into the pre-service training of health care workers to ensure more trained and skilled workers are available in all health facilities.