A WOMAN dies from the causes of unsafe abortion every four hours in Zambia and the problem now needs urgent national attention, says the Zambia Medical Association.
The ZMA has now embarked on a broad-based approach to tackle unsafe abortions, hoping to involve the Church, Members of Parliament and traditional leaders.
ZMA president Aaron Mujajati said the problem of unsafe abortions has proved to be ‘‘beyond medicine and required the more physical approach’’ with the input of all members of society – political parties, civil society organizations and the Government.
Dr Mujajati said the country was unaware of the extent of the problem resulting from unsafe abortions that led to so many women suffering from fertility complications, including death.
“From the consultations held so far, it is clear that the country is unaware of the extent of the problem of unsafe abortions.
“ZMA will therefore spare no resources until the problem is sufficiently appreciated and urgent measures are taken to save lives,” he said.
He was speaking after a stakeholders meeting with about 30 traditional leaders over the problem of unsafe abortions and its dangers to life and motherhood in the country.
Dr Mujajati said ZMA as an association was concerned with the high rate of unsafe abortions in the country, which has deprived many women the ‘‘pleasures of motherhood’’.
He explained that according to statistics, a woman dies of unsafe abortion complications every four hours in Zambia, especially by use of unconventional methods.
Dr Mujajati said motherhood should be a joyous experience for every woman and not a curse and pain as suggested by the current trends in the country.
“As a medical fraternity, we would like to see mothers come to us because they want to bring a new life into existence and not because they want to end it or because they have already endangered their lives by using unconventional methods.
“Zambia has a law on abortion with provisions for safe termination of pregnancies under prescribed conditions,” he said.
The association has suggested the wider use of more conventional methods of pregnancy termination, as provided in the law, and that any debates on abortion must be with a view to establish a position to serve the country and its people better.