Unsafe Abortions Soar…In Ghana

Medical doctors in Ghana are worried over increasing unsafe abortion cases in the country.

About 45 per cent of abortions in Ghana remain unsafe.

In 2017, 53,114 abortion cases were recorded in government hospitals alone across the country, according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS). Globally, 25 million unsafe abortion cases are recorded every year, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The anguish among medical doctors in the country is compounded by the increasing cases of teenage pregnancy while 35% pregnancies among married women are unplanned.

According to a 2016 report, 110,000 adolescent girls in 352 basic schools across the country got pregnant that year.

For fear of victimization, many of such teenagers resort to unsafe abortion methods leading to needless loss of lives and damage to wombs of many young girls.

It is on this backdrop that, the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) in collaboration with DKT International as part of activities marking the 60th anniversary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) organized sensitization exercise on safe abortion and reproductive health for students of Pentecost Senior High School (PENSEC) in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region.

Chairman of Junior Doctors Association, Dr Desmond Oppong, stated that “about 45% of abortion that is done in Ghana are unsafe and about 20% of sexually active non-married women do not use contraceptive.

“These figures are actually more because most of them don’t come to the hospital so that is why it is very prudent for us to go out there and educate them and let them know that the best method of preventing all these is abstinence but if that is not met then other means of contraception use also come into place.”

He advised teenage girls who get pregnant to desist from using concoctions or patronising services of quacks to terminate the pregnancy rather walk to accredited health facilities for professional abortion care service.

The General Secretary of the Junior Doctors Association, Dr Mawuena Hafeh, who touched on reproductive health advised the students to abstain from premarital sexual intercourse to prevent contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

The headmaster of Pentecost Senior High School, Peter Atta Gyamfi, said the health talk was timely adding, “of late we’ve been hearing cases of teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies and abortions and we as a school thinks that it is timely.”

He added that, “sometimes some of them even take drugs to terminate the pregnancies which end up in complications. Some of them are very innocent and therefore they can just be lured by their peers so with this education they will abstain from sex.”