Coast reports high rise in abortion cases

Mombasa’s famous party life may be taking toll on women and girls, with hospitals reporting disturbingly high number of complications from unsafe abortions. Hospitals in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale blame the high number on heavy holiday partying and tourism-related activities.

Doctors at the Coast General Provincial Hospital (CPGH), the biggest referral hospital in the region, say they received 102 cases of post-abortion complications in the last four months. CPGH Deputy Administrator Dr Victor Njom says: “90 per cent of the incidents are those that were procured by quacks and health officers had to complete the process to save the women.”

He says when a woman is brought to the hospital after trying to induce an abortion, she has to undergo a Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) to complete the process. MVA removes uterine contents through the cervix.

The process is normally used to induce an abortion, or as a therapeutic procedure after a miscarriage or to obtain a sample for endometrial biopsy. Dr Njom says unless the uterus remains are cleared from the woman’s womb, she might acquire infections that could lead to infertility.

The hospital can only offer post-abortion care, which is legal in Kenya. The Constitution has also allowed safe abortion or termination of pregnancy when a woman’s life is in danger but the Ministry of Health withdrew the guidelines that would guide the process last year.

The Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Mobility and Mortality from Unsafe Abortions in Kenya was launched by the Director of Medical Services Francis Kimani in September 2012.

-The Star Newspaper

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