MALAWI – Unsafe abortions derail Malawi’s progress on maternal health

With unsafe abortions causing 18% of maternal deaths, Malawi finds itself facing a dilemma in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030. Here is one young woman’s story illustrating this failure:

Sitting on the veranda of her house in the southern Malawian city of Blantyre, 56-year-old Manesi cries as she recounts in an interview how her 17-year-old daughter died. Her daughter told her that she became pregnant after being raped while returning from school. “The discovery of the pregnancy haunted her. She told me she never wanted to keep the pregnancy as she wanted to continue with her education.”

Each year, 141,000 Malawian women and girls have abortions, almost all clandestine. 60% result is complications that require medical treatment. Some of them do not get any help and some of them die.

SOURCE: Malawi24, by Brian Ligomeka, 23 June 2023 ; PHOTO: in Face2Face, 29 July 2020