Gender Gender

Community leaders key in unsafe abortions fight

SITEMBILE SIWAWA, Lusaka
IPAS Zambia has called for concerted efforts by community leaders in sensitising young women and girls on accessing safe abortion services from health centres.
Meanwhile, IPAS Zambia treated 1,768 women on the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Southern and Central provinces for unsafe abortions between January and December last year.
IPAS country director Felicia Sakala said recently during a youth-focused training workshop on women and girls’ sexual, reproductive and health rights that community leaders should be key in curbing unsafe abortions.
Ms Sakala said: “I am urging our male counterparts to take an active role in ensuring that unsafe abortions no longer happen in our communities by advising our young girls and women to access better services from health centres.”
At the same function IPAS Zambia programme manager Patrick Djemo said the 1,768 women were treated from health centres where IPAS operates from.
Up to 763 women were treated on the Copperbelt, 576 in Lusaka, 228 in Southern while 201 were from Central Province.”
Dr Djemo said community leaders need to make people understand the Termination of Pregnancy Act if unsafe abortions are to reduce.
“Unsafe abortions are contributing to high maternal rates in Zambia. Community leaders need to sensitise people on preventive measures of unwanted pregnancies and dangers of unsafe abortions,” he said.
Workshop participant and volunteer counsellor at Lusaka’s Chelston Clinic, Betty Makonde, said community leaders play a critical role in addressing unsafe abortions among girls and young women.
Ms Makonde also said messages of unsafe abortions need to be preached in churches.

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