Monday August 18 2014

Abortion second highest cause of death, says health minister

By Sandra Janet Birungi

KAMPALA- With less than two years to the expiry of the Millennium Development Goals, maternal mortality still remains high with abortion contributing highly, according to state minister for Primary Healthcare Sarah Achieng Opendi.
While addressing parliamentarians, children, and the general public at the weekend during the National Prayer Day in Kampala, Ms Opendi said a 2013 Ministry of Health study revealed that abortion is the second highest cause of deaths in Uganda coming second to malaria.

“Teenage pregnancies in particular, which contribute 24 per cent of maternal mortality often lead to abortions. Because of the high rates of sexual violence in schools and homes, there are high rates abortion in schools,” she said.

According to a 2013 report conducted by Centre for Reproductive Health Uganda, there are 800 abortions carried out daily in Uganda translating to 292,000 per year.

The report also shows that majority of abortions are unsafe.

“We are still looking into the best way to deal with teenage pregnancies and abortion. The first step we took was launching the teenage pregnancy campaign; we also think that for those few children who cannot abstain, contraceptives should be made available to them,” she said.