‘Advocacy On Safe Abortion Is Key To Achieving MDG5’

Madam Christiana Akua Konadu, Jaman South District Public Health Nurse, has indicated that for Ghana to achieve the Millennium Development Goal Five (MDG5) by 2015, advocacy on safe abortion must be intensified. She said abortion is the most dangerous operation in the medical field, hence, it needs the services of a professional practitioner to undertake, to ensure the safety of the person. Madam Konadu was speaking to staff and students of Drobo Senior High School, under the Advocacy for Young People Access to Safe Abortion and Contraceptive Services in Brong-Ahafo Project, undertaken by Global Media Foundation, and funded by the Safe Abortion Fund. She called on the students to shun early sex, in order not to be impregnated, which would compel them to undergo unsafe abortion with the use of concoctions, or attending to quack doctors or herbal practitioners. According to the Public Health Nurse, the safest way for students was to abstain from early sex, but if abstaining could be a problem, then that student must have protected sex, in order not to have any unwanted pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infections. She advised students to do away with negative peer group pressure, and be bold and courageous to parents, Guidance and Counseling Departments of schools, churches, as well as those at the Adolescent corners created for adolescents at each health facility for better advices and support. Madam Konadu continued that unsafe abortion was reducing in the Jaman South District due to intensified public health education, and formation of Peer Education Groups among students in the various second cycle institutions in the district. She indicated that the overall objective was to help achieve the MDG5, which tackles maternal health, adding that last year, the district performed badly on maternal mortality, as it recorded eight maternal deaths. She attributed those deaths to delays in the decision taken on the part of the pregnant mother to seek early medical attention, the poor nature of roads within the district, and delay in accessing the facility, due to distance and lack of transport. According to the District Public Health Nurse, in terms of health facilities, the district had enough equipment, but lacked adequate skilled personnel, saying: “We have 14 health facilities in the district, however; only five of them have midwives, which is a bane to the efforts to achieve the MDG5.” The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Media Foundation, Raphael Godlove Ahenu, on his part, noted that Ghana might not achieve the MDG5, because unsafe abortion accounts for 11% of the challenges impeding the achievement of the Goal. He disclosed that within the first quarter of the year 2014, 53 abortion cases had been reported in the Tano North District alone, with the majority them being students from second cycle institutions within the district. Mr. Ahenu, however, called for a collaborative effort to help deal with unsafe abortion to achieve the MDG5. The Headmaster of Drobo Senior High School (SHS), Mr. Costers Nketiah, also noted that living a chaste life is a desired idea for a brighter future, therefore, students should abstain from early sex, in order not to ruin their future with an unwanted pregnancy. He commended Global Media Foundation for the sensitisation of the youth on safe abortion, adding that aside the academic activities, there must also be social interventions on personal health and reproductive health, as well as HIV/AIDS. Mr. Nketiah assured the intensification of the Guidance and Counseling Department of the school to keep up the momentum, as an effort towards achieving the MDG5.