August 21, 2014- Arising from the increasing cases of abortion in the state, the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) has recently trained Pharmacists in Ovia-North East Local Government Area of Edo State to curb the trend.
The workshop which was held at the Main Auditorium of the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) is aimed at building capacity of Mid-level providers to equip them to cope with cases of Medical Abortion and Post Abortion Care in Nigeria.
Speaking at the workshop the Project Officer for Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) Miss Rebecca kelechi Eze says attention is needs to be drawn to areas of Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights, Family Planning, Data Management, Counselling and Referral on Medicated Abortion and Contraceptive Services.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Lucky Owabor says, ‘‘abortion is illegal in Nigeria but Nigerian women are faced with the problem of unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion and the complications of unsafe abortion’’.
He therefore insists that every woman has a right to reproductive health.
The reproductive rights framework emphasizes the protection of an individual woman’s legal right to reproductive health services, focusing on increasing access to contraception and keeping abortion legal.
Such reproductive rights that embrace human rights recognized both in national and international, legal and human rights documents include:
1. The basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so.
2. The right to attain the highest attainable standard of sexual and reproductive health.
3. The right of women to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
4. The same right of men and women to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent.
5. The right of access to information.
6. The right of everyone to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its implications.
Earlier, Patrick Erah a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice at the University of Benin says ‘‘Pharmaceutical Industry plays a major role in assessing essential medicine in reproductive health because it helps to reduce unwanted pregnancies, complicated pregnancies and maternal mortality with essential medicine that are affordable, accessible and of good quality’’
He however says out of the estimated 46 million induced abortions each year, nearly 19 million are performed in unsafe conditions and/or by unskilled providers and result in the deaths of an estimated 68,000 girls and women.
These deaths represent about 13% of all pregnancy-related deaths.
He says “unsafe abortions accounts for at least 13% of all maternal deaths.
“If people are not aware of good contraceptive methods, there will be a lot of unwanted pregnancies among the young age group’’.
Professor Erah therefore encourages medical counselors to provide information and support needed to complete all aspects of the procedures in medication abortion.
While speaking on the importance of Family Planning as the major factor in population reduction, unsafe abortion and maternal mortality, the Deputy Executive Director of Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) Dr. Wilson Imongan said, ‘‘Family planning is a smart, sensible, and vital component of global health and development’’.
Dr Imongan says ‘‘Out of the estimated 380 women that become pregnant, 190 of them do not plan for pregnancy while 110 of the women experience pregnancy related complications with 40 of them having unsafe abortion and one in the number dies from pregnancy related cases’’.
The facilitators agree that improper family planning is intertwined with unsafe abortion with maternal death becoming a public health concern in many parts of the world and in Nigeria today.
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