Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services has said that it is injustice for women to die as a result of abortion related complications.
He said it was disheartening that women had to bear the consequences of unwanted pregnancy alone with the ultimate prize of losing their lives through unsafe abortion despite the fact that it took two people to get pregnant.
Speaking at the launch of a campaign dubbed, “Zero Tolerance” to scale up the fight against maternal mortality in the region, Dr. Tinkorang bemoaned the needless deaths of women trying to terminate pregnancies through abortion.
The campaign seeks to create awareness about the dangers of unsafe abortion through public education with a focus on young adolescent girls, especially those in senior high schools.
The Regional Director said unsafe abortion was a global health challenge claiming thousands of lives annually and contributing to maternal deaths across the world.
“That is the reason why the government and the global world have decided to fight maternal mortality and more importantly maternal mortality due to unsafe abortions,” he stated.
He disclosed that the region recorded 174 maternal mortalities in 2021 out of which 11 were due to unsafe abortion complications.
Unsafe abortion, he noted, could be prevented by seeking professional help rather than resorting to quacks who lacked the requisite expertise to terminate pregnancy.
“Globally, about five to 10 per cent women die through complications of unsafe abortion and this can be prevented with the availability of appropriate skills and technology,” he pointed out.
He added that, “In Ghana, we want to strengthen safe abortion services and do away with unsafe abortion as a key strategy to reduce maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion.”
Dr. Tinkorang said most of the unsafe abortion cases occurred among young and adolescent girls and the youth who mostly did not have adequate knowledge and empowerment to take decisions when pregnant.
He said the campaign would target that segment of society and provide them with relevant information to make informed decisions to prevent needless deaths through unsafe abortion.
The campaign would also address stigmatization, cultural and religious beliefs and other challenges that drive women to opt for unsafe abortion, he said.
“Maternal mortality is unacceptable. No woman should die from pregnancy related complications so the fact that a woman is pregnant and does not want the pregnancy does not mean she should die through unsafe abortion,” he noted.