Rampant unsafe abortions reported in Upper East
Mr Peter Baffoe, Medical Director in charge of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in the Upper East Region has expressed worry over the spate of unsafe abortions in the Region.
The Medical Director, who is also a Gynaecologist, said majority of adolescents resort to quack doctors, paying amounts ranging from GH¢100 and above only to report to the hospital with complicated cases.
Others also go to drug stores to buy certain complicated chemicals to administer themselves, which also leads to complications.
Doctor Baffoe, who was speaking on the topic “Reproductive Health-The Role of the Youth’’ at the 2012 Regional Forum organized by the Ghana Coalitions of NGOs in Health, disclosed that the Gynaecologist Unit of the Regional Hospital records 5 to 10 cases of unsafe abortions every week usually associated with adolescent with serious complications.
“Save abortion services are available in health facilities, especially at the Regional Hospital and I wonder why people are not seeking for the service and will want to go for unsafe abortions and ends up worsening the situation”, Dr Baffoe indicated.
He said there were a lot of complications associated with unsafe abortions and indicated that apart from the short term effects, which include profuse bleeding, which usually calls for blood transfusion, its long term effect include infertility and chronic pelvic pains.
“There are many instances where we are forced to perform surgical operations on victims to remove the womb to enable them to survive, thereby rendering such people barren. In such instances your are forced to tell such them you cannot give birth again.”
He said what was more worrying was that sometimes the parts of intestines of victims, who are as young as 17 and 18 years are cut off to save them.
Dr Baffoe urged health institutions to educate the public, Schools and Civil Society Organizations on Adolescent Reproductive Health and also ensure that friendly health services were made available to Adolescents.
Participants stressed the need for parents to stop harassing their daughters, who get pregnant and rather encourage and investigate them to find out who was responsible and if the need be, assist them to go for safe abortion.
He attributed the problem of unsafe abortions by teenagers on the harassment they go through when they inform their parents of it, adding that, the practice must stop.
Mr Alagskomah Asakeya Noble, Regional Vice Chairman of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health said the reason for organizing the Health Forum was to brainstorm on how to tackle adolescent and Reproductive Health issues, particularly teenage pregnancy and illegal abortion, which were alarming and required multi-sectorial approach in addressing them.
He disclosed that the Coalition within the first quarter of this year carried out a number of activities, including Maternal Health, HIV/AIDS, Drug and Substance Abuse in various districts in the region.
“The organization has made significant progress towards fulfilling its constitutional mandate of influencing health policy and building the capacity of NGOs for quality health service delivery”
The forum was also used to discuss the findings of the Millennium Development Goals Monitored Report conducted at Bongo by Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR).