A senior medical professional has said there is need to strengthen the law that helps medical workers save women from deaths resulting from unsafe abortion so that it achieves its intentions.
College of Medicine (CoM) department of obstetrics and gynaecology senior lecturer Dr. Chisale Mhango made the call on Friday in an interview in Mangochi on the sidelines of a media training workshop on reproductive health rights and the termination of pregnancy law reform.
He said as people hired and paid to save lives, the law gives them a mandate to provide safe abortion to women whose lives are in danger from pregnancy, but women who access safe abortion in hospitals do not die.
“The ones that die are those who do not qualify, and their numbers are just huge,” he said.
The Termination of Pregnancy Bill (ToPB) proposed by the Malawi Law Commission—which only allows termination of pregnancy when the life of a woman is in danger, when the pregnancy is a result of rape, incest or defilement, when the physical health and mental health of the woman is threatened or when the fetus is malformed and cannot survive after birth.
Lastone Chikoti, Ministry of Health (MoH) reproductive health officer responsible for abortion issues, in an interview, said if the reformed ToPB comes into action, a lot of women and girls’ lives most women will be able to get safe abortion methods.
The last report on abortion titled Magnitude and Incidences of Unsafe Abortion, released in 2009 by Ministry of Health (MoH), said over 70 000 girls and women procure an abortion every year, and that government loses about K300 million annually in treating those who suffer from unsafe abortion complications.