Saturday, February 9, 2013


Abortions cost government Shs31b yearly- report By Flavia Lanyero Posted Saturday, February 9 2013 at 02:00 In Summary Health experts say unintended pregnancies should be addressed to avoid complications that result from abortions. Kampala Post-abortion care is costing government an estimated Shs31 billion ($13.8m) annually - money which could otherwise be saved if pregnancies were planned, a new report finds. The report, conducted by the Guttmacher Institute and published in the Journal Health Policy and Planning, is based on data collected from a sample of 39 health facilities between August and November 2010. It found that at least 105,900 women reported to health centres and referral hospitals with post-abortion complications. The lead researcher, Dr Fredrick Mugisha, said post-abortion care is eating up colossal amount of government money yet it is not being given attention. He said women show up with incomplete abortions, sepsis, perforations, shock and many other complications that put their lives in danger. Health practitioners are now questioning Uganda’s health care system in dealing with reproductive health issues among the youth which would otherwise see fewer people get unintended or unwanted pregnancies. Dr Charles Kiggundu, a consultant gynecologist at Mulago hospital, said of the three million pregnancies that occur every year, at least 56 per cent are unintended. At least 30 per cent of these end as induced abortions. Dr Kiggundu said abortion contributes to 25 per cent of maternal mortality in the country. He said urgent attention is needed in terms of post-abortion care, safe abortion methods and planned pregnancies. The head of reproductive health in the Ministry of Health, Dr Zainab Akol, said funding for the sector has increased from $3.5m to $5 this financial year and that it will help scale up supplies for reproductive health services like contraceptives and information dissemination to communities. “This study will help tease out issues that can scale up family planning uptake. The President in July last year made five global commitments to improve reproductive health in Uganda and with the increase in the reproductive health budget, it will support implementation of his commitments,” Dr Akol said.

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