UNSAFE ABORTION IN GHANA: the way forward
ESC Congress Library. BOACHIE J. 05/28/14; 50456; A-039 Disclosure(s): NONE TO DISCLOSE
Dr. James BOACHIE
Dr. James BOACHIE
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Abstract
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BACKGROUND


Unsafe abortion has remained a major problem of public health concern in developing countries. The stigma, restrictive abortion laws, and negative connotation associated with abortion has led to provision of the service underground resulting in high unsafe abortion rates. It is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, with developing countries suffering the most. 42 million abortions occur worldwide each year with 20 million representing 48% being unsafe. Almost all of the unsafe abortion occurs in developing countries to which Ghana belongs.In Ghana unsafe abortion accounts for 11% of all maternal deaths making it the second major cause of maternal mortality.


AIM


To review the factors contributing to unsafe abortion seeking behaviour among women of reproductive age in Ghana and suggest how the practice can be reduced


OBJECTIVES



  • To assess the burden of unsafe abortion in Ghana.

  • To critically analyze the factors contributing to unsafe abortion seeking behaviour among women of the reproductive age in Ghana.

  • To identify and appraise interventions for reducing unsafe abortion in Ghana.

  • To make recommendations and possibly propose further studies based on outcome of dissertation.


METHODOLOGY


The study is in-depth using secondary information from online databases and Ghana country reports. A conceptual framework was developed from Health Action Model and used to analyze the unsafe abortion seeking behaviour of women of reproductive age in Ghana. Interventions identified were appraised and further recommendations made.


FINDINGS 


Women still seek unsafe abortions even though the law in Ghana permits abortion under circumstances that can be considered as liberal. Two major factors have been found to inform this decision making process:



  • 1. Fundamental factors: Social Norms, Beliefs, Personal dimension, Attitudes and Values, Information and Knowledge, Experiences and Examples

  • 2. Enabling and inhibiting factors: Health Services Support, Accessible Information, Women's Education and Empowerment, Policies and Poverty.


RECOMMENDATIONS



  • 1. Involving private doctors in the provision of safe abortion services

  • 2. Use of mid-level personnel to provide safe abortion services

  • 3. Values clarification and attitude transformation workshops

  • 4. Girl child education


CONCLUSION


There is the need for attitudinal changes in the community and the providers to recognize provision of safe abortion services as a right of women devoid of any religious, cultural or personal beliefs. Another important area of need is in addressing the shortage of personnel to provide safe abortion services.


KEYWORDS: abortion, unsafe abortion, illegal abortion, wrongful termination of pregnancy, Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa


 


 

BACKGROUND


Unsafe abortion has remained a major problem of public health concern in developing countries. The stigma, restrictive abortion laws, and negative connotation associated with abortion has led to provision of the service underground resulting in high unsafe abortion rates. It is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, with developing countries suffering the most. 42 million abortions occur worldwide each year with 20 million representing 48% being unsafe. Almost all of the unsafe abortion occurs in developing countries to which Ghana belongs.In Ghana unsafe abortion accounts for 11% of all maternal deaths making it the second major cause of maternal mortality.


AIM


To review the factors contributing to unsafe abortion seeking behaviour among women of reproductive age in Ghana and suggest how the practice can be reduced


OBJECTIVES



  • To assess the burden of unsafe abortion in Ghana.

  • To critically analyze the factors contributing to unsafe abortion seeking behaviour among women of the reproductive age in Ghana.

  • To identify and appraise interventions for reducing unsafe abortion in Ghana.

  • To make recommendations and possibly propose further studies based on outcome of dissertation.


METHODOLOGY


The study is in-depth using secondary information from online databases and Ghana country reports. A conceptual framework was developed from Health Action Model and used to analyze the unsafe abortion seeking behaviour of women of reproductive age in Ghana. Interventions identified were appraised and further recommendations made.


FINDINGS 


Women still seek unsafe abortions even though the law in Ghana permits abortion under circumstances that can be considered as liberal. Two major factors have been found to inform this decision making process:



  • 1. Fundamental factors: Social Norms, Beliefs, Personal dimension, Attitudes and Values, Information and Knowledge, Experiences and Examples

  • 2. Enabling and inhibiting factors: Health Services Support, Accessible Information, Women's Education and Empowerment, Policies and Poverty.


RECOMMENDATIONS



  • 1. Involving private doctors in the provision of safe abortion services

  • 2. Use of mid-level personnel to provide safe abortion services

  • 3. Values clarification and attitude transformation workshops

  • 4. Girl child education


CONCLUSION


There is the need for attitudinal changes in the community and the providers to recognize provision of safe abortion services as a right of women devoid of any religious, cultural or personal beliefs. Another important area of need is in addressing the shortage of personnel to provide safe abortion services.


KEYWORDS: abortion, unsafe abortion, illegal abortion, wrongful termination of pregnancy, Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa


 


 

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