Unsafe abortion has become a major concern for women in Sierra Leone, as most teenage girls and women die of complications after it.
This is mainly due to the fact that it is done under unfavourable conditions and the stringent laws binding abortion in the country.
Ipas Sierra Leone over the weekend, donated a set of instruments used for abortion and post abortion treatment to the Hasting Community health Centre as a means of providing a safe environment for abortion related cases, and other major health centres in Freetown, Lungi and provincial headquarter towns including Kenema, Bo, and Makeni, among many others, have also benefited from this same project.
According to Ipas Country Director, Valerie Tucker, this project is aimed at providing a safe environment and quality health services for women in the country with emphasis on abortion, as most women suffer greatly due to post abortion complication.
Valerie Tucker stated that one of Ipas main objectives is focused on how to address abortion related issues and to advocate for Government to look into the laws of abortion as they are too severe and that has led to the high rate of unsafe abortion in the country. She noted that abortion is inevitable among young girls and women, as most cases of unwanted pregnancy is because of religious moral and traditional beliefs and also rape cases.
She said Ipas will continue to provide the necessary support to the government by providing the necessary facilities and services and also help train medical health personnel on the use of these instruments, adding that Ipas will also provide counseling services to teenage girls on family planning and precautions.
The Country Director of Ipas also stated that Ipas has been able to design a rubber instrument called Manual Vacuum Aspirator (MVA) used for virginal cleaning and abortion purposes, maintaining that this rubber instrument will ease the effect of infection on women and avoid the use of the old fashioned metallic one.
The Community Health Officer (CHO) of Hasting Community Health Centre, Sallu Lansana applauded Ipas Sierra Leone for taking into consideration the Centre and encouraged them to continue in their good drive as women and children’s health should be a paramount concern to all. The CHO assured Ipas that he will monitor the safe use of these instruments by supervising and training the staff nurses on safe abortion practices.
He said health care workers in diverse ways have tried very hard to save the life of teenage girls and women with related issues of post abortion complications but most times they fail due to the old fashion instrument used and the illegalities involved in conducting abortion and therefore urged the government to review the laws on abortion, as means to provide a safe and secure environment for abortion.
Christiana B. Mansalley of Health Sisters Western Area, and Sis Mary Fullah, Principal Public Health Sisters and Reproductive Health and Family Planning Program said Ipas has been working relentlessly to ensure that government provides an enabling environment for the safe delivery of service for abortion cases, noting that it is essential for Government to pay more attention into abortion, as it has caused so many deaths among women and girls.
They also assured Ipas that they will help to monitor the use of these instruments and provide the necessary technical assistance for abortion complications.
By Mariam Bah
Monday June 02, 2014