Sierra Leone equipped to implement abortion bill – says Dr. Williamson Taylor
Doctor Roland Williamson Taylor has said the Sierra Leone health system is equipped to implement the Safe Abortion Bill as midwives, Community Health Officers (CHOs) SECHN’s and CHaids are trained in offering post-abortion care service using the Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s (MoHS) national standards and quid lines for post-abortion care.
In his presentation ‘MAKING ABORTION SAFE IN SIERRA LEONE’, on behalf of Marie Stope Sierra Leone, Dr. Williamson Taylor said the country’s post-abortion care service is usually provided by Doctors, noting that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) quid lines for post-abortion and contraception are safe and effective as women often prefer midlevel providers.
He reiterated that Hon. Isata Kabia tabled the Safe Abortion Bill forwarded as a Private Member Bill recognising the important benefits it could bring to the women of Sierra Leone by passing it into law.
Dr. Taylor maintained that if the bill is passed into law, Government and the national regulatory bodies will be able to regulate abortion and put in place necessary quid lines, trainings and procedures for performing them.
According to him, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Report 2013 states that almost twenty percent of Obstetric complications admissions were for abortion complications, noting that safe abortion would be fewer burdens and less expensive to the health system than the current situation with a restrictive law that encourages dangerous hidden abortion.
Dr. Taylor maintained that the safety of abortion like any other procedure is dependent on the skills of the provider and the setting in which the services are provided, stressing that when done safely, abortion is much safer than carrying a pregnancy to term.
He also informed that WHO estimates there are about 22, 000, 000 (twenty-two million) unsafe abortions annually, resulting in 47, 000 deaths with 5, 000, 000 (Five million) complications.
Dr. Taylor disclosed that nearly all the unsafe abortions annually took place in developing countries, noting that unsafe abortion is among the top four causes of maternal death.
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