Leveraging Private Sector to Reduce Unsafe Abortions

Dr Munyaradzi Murwira Due to the restrictive abortion laws in Zimbabwe, both medical and non-medical individuals clandestinely perform most of the abortions. Legal and administrative barriers coupled with stigma among both women and health service providers, and fear of social repercussions as well as risking imprisonment are barriers to access legal abortion in Zimbabwe. The legal termination of pregnancy is performed only in public health facilities at district, provincial and central hospitals, after authorisation from the magistrate. Rather than reduce abortion incidence, the restrictive abortion laws result in women pursuing…

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Reducing Unsafe Abortions through Family Planning

By Dr Munyaradzi Murwira Background According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), family planning (FP) and comprehensive abortion care are part of primary health care (PHC), and the availability of these services is essential for achieving universal health coverage (UHC). However, lack of access to these services remains a big challenge across the world. Health care providers in many African countries lack the relevant skills and knowledge to provide evidence-based, person-centred and respectful services in these critical areas. Post-abortion family planning (PAFP) is the use of family planning methods immediately…

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Role of Guidelines in Reducing Unsafe Abortions

By Dr Munyaradzi Murwira Background According to World Health Organisation (WHO), six out of 10 unintended pregnancies end up in induced abortions, with 45 percent of all abortions estimated to be unsafe globally. Thus, strengthening access to comprehensive abortion care (CAC) within the health care system is fundamental to meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) relating to good health and wellbeing, and gender equality. In 2022, the WHO launched the new Abortion Care Guidelines to provide guidance for provision of comprehensive abortion care services (CAC) globally. Priority aspects of the…

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The Burden of Unsafe Abortions among Adolescent Girls

By Dr Munyaradzi Murwira Introduction Adolescents are a diverse group; their sexual and reproductive health needs and ability to meet those needs vary based on their life circumstances, including marital status and urban or rural residence. Adolescents often face a multitude of challenges in obtaining sexual and reproductive health services, including social stigma, judgmental attitudes of community, health care providers, financial constraints and lack of information. Key sexual reproductive health issues affecting youths include among others, STIs/HIV & AIDS, teenage pregnancies, unintended pregnancies, drug and substance abuse, and sexual gender…

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The Treble Tragedy in Women’s Health: Unmet Need for FP – Unwanted Pregnancy – Unsafe Abortion

Dr Munyaradzi Murwira Introduction Women and girls in developing countries face multiple challenges in accessing affordable, quality and comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights (SRH&R) services. This article explores three key issues that affect women and girls sexual reproductive health outcomes, morbidity and mortality. The “Treble Tragedy” in women’s health, particularly in the developing world are – Unmet Need for Family Planning – Unwanted Pregnancy – Unsafe Abortion. The Primary Health Care (PHC) concept coupled with the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) approach are opportunities to ensure universal access to SRH&R…

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