Karonga District Hospital post-abortion care coordinator Don Van Mlangali has bemoaned the rise in unsafe abortion cases in the district.
Statistics from the hospital show that between January and April this year, the district registered 322 cases of unsafe abortions compared to 285 cases during the corresponding period in 2021.
Speaking on Monday at Baka Residential Training Centre during a meeting for youths and women champions from the district’s five traditional authorities, Mlangali said the situation was worrisome.
He said: “Despite several interventions, unsafe abortions keep on rising.
“This calls for efforts from various stakeholders to intensify awareness campaigns to sensitise girls and women to the dangers of unsafe abortions.”
Mlangali called on youths to abstain from sexual activities to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Chisomo Youth Organisation executive director Davie Kitalu said they organised the meeting to give the youth and women an opportunity to discuss challenges they face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.
“We will continue to fight for the availability of functional youth-friendly health services in public health facilities,” he said.
One of the participants, Caroline Mayuni from T/A Wasambo said she will relay the message to her fellow youths.
“I will convince them to seek family planning services,” she said.
Karonga district youth officer Lapken Liwago attributed the rising cases of unsafe abortions to unprotected sex among youths.
He said: “Unprotected sex results in unplanned pregnancies. We urge them to abstain from sexual activities or access youth-friendly health services.”
With funding from Ipas, Chisomo Youth Organisation is implementing a six-month Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Project dubbed Tubatule to reduce unsafe abortions in the district.