BLANTYRE, December 5, 2013 (MaraPost)—Senior Chief Lukwa of Kasungu and Senior Chief Nthwalo of Mzimba have bemoaned the slow progress in reviewing Malawi’s anti-abortion laws.
According to the chiefs, medical evidence indicates that hundreds of women and girls die and suffer multiple complications as a result of undergoing unsafe abortions.
A 2010 ministry of health study on abortion in Malawi also indicate that 70 000 Malawian women have abortion every year.
The study further shows that 31 000 Malawian women are treated for complications of unsafe abortion annually. Approximately 17 percent of maternal deaths in Malawi are attributable to unsafe abortion, making it one of the primary causes of maternal mortality. In addition, 30 percent of all admissions in country’s gynecological wards are due to unsafe abortion.
Efforts to have abortion legalized in the country are stifled by religious leaders, who largely argue that abortion is unacceptable before God.
“Malawi as a country has not provided a legal environment where safe abortion can be accessed easily. The laws should be reviewed so that abortion should be carried out by any person with reasonable care and skill to carry out an operation to preserve mother’s life,” said Chief Lukwa.
One of the gynecologists, Dr. Grace Chiudzu also said women who obtain abortions from backyards risk severe blood lose and infection of the reproductive system and death.
She said medical workers are forced to curry out post-abortion care which in most cases lead to removal of the fallopian tubes.
“It is a big problem in the hospitals, statistics show that 17 percent of our maternal mortality is being contributed by unsafe abortions and that is costing the government a lot of money, almost K300 million is being lost annually.
“We need to come up with a law to regulate safe abortions and stop the free for all and chaotic situation in the country right now. If you go to the hospitals, especially in gynecological wards, they will tell you that 30 percent of the space is being occupied by unsafe abortion patients,” said Chiudzu.-MARAPOST.