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GLOMEF intensifies campaign against ‘Unsafe Abortion’ with Papa Ralph Hotline


Date: Saturday August 17, 2019, 12:07 am


By: WatchGhana.Com


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Mr. Raphael Ahenu, GLOMEF CEO

Global Media Foundation, human rights media advocacy organization is set to introduce a safe abortion information platform to provide quick and adequate information on abortion and contraceptives to women especially vulnerable and hard-to-reach young girls in Ghana. The initiative will offer the opportunity to the target groups to make voice call, request information, ask useful questions or send SMS and receive instant feedbacks on abortion and contraceptives from a Call Centre [called Papa Ralph and Maame Esi] using toll free hotlines.

The Founder/CEO of GLOMEF, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu who made this known to the media in Accra, said unsafe abortions were becoming very alarming among young adolescent girls due to cultural and religious disapproval for safe abortion in Ghana. According to him, many women especially young girls indulged in unsafe abortions because of the fear of stigmatization.

“Many young women who get pregnant before marriage decide to terminate their pregnancies to avoid the stigma that comes with getting pregnant without marriage. The unacceptable perceptions towards out of wedlock pregnancy and abortions in Ghana may result from religious beliefs of most Ghanaians”, he said. Mr. Ahenu noted that many women had said that they had to use unsafe and unapproved means of aborting their pregnancies because of the fear of stigma that resulted from pregnancy out of wedlock.

Guttmacher Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated the level of unplanned pregnancies at 49 per 1,000 pregnancies in Asia, 72 per 1,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 86 per 1,000 in Africa. Unplanned pregnancy rate in Africa was rated as the highest. Guttmacher Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also stated that in Ghana, 37% of all births are unplanned.  In Ghana, marriage before pregnancy is a cultural and religious expectation of adult women therefore pregnancy before marriage is seen as a dishonour to womanhood. As a result of that, many unmarried women who get pregnant prefer to abort their babies to avoid any public spectacle and scorn

Mr Ahenu stressed the need for Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health (MOH) to adopt evidence-based public health approaches in educating women and the general public on the safe abortion policy of Ghana.  This approach should concentrate on reducing maternal mortality and morbidity and harm reduction.

MOH and Ghana Health Service (GHS) should disseminate information on its 2003 abortion policy amendment to health professionals and health programme managersThe regimen for medical abortion should be publicized to replace the ineffective and dangerous unsafe abortion methods practiced by young women especially vulnerable and hard-to-reach young girls.

 In report on a safe abortion project implemented in Gomoa Central District in Central region by GLOMEF/AmplifyChange, women cited lack of knowledge on the abortion law and safe abortion services, socio-economic conditions, cultural and religious beliefs, stigma of unplanned pregnancy, a desire to bear children only after marriage, avoidance of parental disappointment and resentment, and a desire to pursue education as reasons for practicing unsafe abortions.

Education on the Ghanaian safe abortion policy is a necessary step if the goal of avoiding preventable death from unsafe abortions is to be achieved. The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of GLOMEF, Eric Anorrey said Curricula changes, continuous professional developments and public health education strategies are necessary to enlighten health educators, students and the general public on the safe abortion policy of Ghana.

According to him, a good knowledge by health teachers could eventually trickle down to students and the general public. He added that other teachers in senior high schools, colleges and universities should also be involved in the education on safe abortion services in Ghana so that they can in turn educate their students

 

Source: WatchGhana.Com

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Author: WatchGhana.Com    Verified

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