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Illegal abortions fueling maternal deaths – Health Director

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Pregnant WomanIllegal abortion and its related complications had been identified as one of the major factors fuelling the high maternal deaths in the Ashanti Region.

Dr Aaron Offei, the Regional Director of Health Services, said most women continue to resort to unapproved and dangerous methods to terminate unwanted pregnancy, resulting in health complications and fatalities.

There is therefore the need to back initiatives that would help provide comprehensive and quality abortion care to women.

He was speaking at a day’s stakeholders review meeting of the Ipas Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) interventions in the region, held in Kumasi.

Ipas, a women’s health promotion NGO, has since 2006 supported the regional health directorate with training and capacity building, equipment and other facilities to provide quality CAC.

Presently, about 68 midwives and other service providers had been trained in 40 health facilities to provide abortion services in the region.

Besides, 28 community nurses, eight traditional rulers and 20 police officers had received training to offer counseling services on abortion and create awareness in communities.

Dr Offei praised Ipas for the assistance, which he said, was yielding positive results and urged the beneficiary facilities to do more to aid needy young girls to access the CAC services.

Ms Marian Smith of Ipas said between January 2010 and December 2011, about 6,684 women benefitted from its sponsored services. Out of this figure, 4,394 agreed and accepted post abortion family planning services.

She said many of these women are aged, 25 years and above.

Mrs Josephine Addy also of Ipas noted with satisfaction the growing acceptance of post abortion family planning methods.

She said the project was taking firm hold in the region and commended the staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for their dedication and hard work that had contributed to this.

Source: GNA

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