To mark Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019, COHERINET staff and selected community members from the grassroots level interacted with health service providers at Kawempe National Referral Hospital in the Family Planning & Gynaecology Wards. The interactions aimed at discussing barriers to access and availability of abortion, and provision of comprehensive abortion care services, especially for the poor women and girls from local communities. During the discussions, a Community Women’s Council leader emphasised the need for the provision of stigma free, safe abortion services.
Mr Charles Kiggundu, senior obstetrician gynecologist working with the Ministry of Health at Kawempe National Referral Hospital, informed us that: “52% of pregnancies in Uganda are not planned or are unwanted and 314,000 women have unsafe abortions in Uganda per year, – or 840 women per day – and 5 to 7 women die per day due to use of unsafe methods, leading to 20-30% maternal mortality. He emphasized that there is great need to de-stigmatise and decriminalise abortion and ensure availability of quality safe abortion services.
COHERINET pledged to continue engaging with like-minded partners and stakeholders to de-stigmatize or de-criminalize abortion and ensure accessibility to quality, cost effective, stigma free, comprehensive safe abortion services, especially for poor women and girls from the community level in Uganda.