By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
FORTY per cent of maternal admissions to the Livingstone Hospital are abortion related, says a gynaecolologists Herdley Chaambwa.
And Dr Chaambwa, a lecturer at Lusaka’s Apex University, says a woman can become pregnant eight days soon after an abortion.
In a plenary session during the Zambia Association of Gynaeclologists and Obstetricians (ZAGO) media training on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) at Kaazmein Lodge, Dr Chaambwa said medical doctors would not ask if the admissions were as a result of spontaneous or induced abortions.
“It is very expensive to treat patients for unsafe abortions and some end up having their uterus being removed and some die. It costs the nation a lot of money but management of safe abortions is very cheap. 40 per cent of maternal admissions to the Livingstone Central Hospital are abortion related,” he said.
Dr Chaambwa said the seven per cent unsafe abortion rate in the country annually was still too high.
He said abortions in Africa were too high despite the continent’s deep rooted religious beliefs.
And Dr Chaambwa said 28 weeks of pregnancy was a benchmark for a foetus to survive outside the womb.
“Family planning is cardinal because a woman can become pregnant eight days soon after an abortion,” he said.
Dr Chaambwa noted that the major challenge with regards abortions was among the adolescent girls.
A lawyer, who requested not to be identified as he was not cleared by Law Association of Zambia to give interviews on ZAGO programmes, said abortion was legal in Zambia from as far back as 1964.
The lawyer also noted an imbalance with regards women’s rights saying men don’t seek consent to have anything done to their bodies from women but wondered why a man has to give consent for a woman to have an abortion saying everyone has liberty to be protected by the Bill of Rights with regards protection to health.