A research by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Guttmacher Institute(GI)
has revealed that about 53% amounting to 767,200 of a total of 1.4 million pregnancies in Ghana in 2017 were unintended.
Presented by Professor Easmon Otupiri of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the research established that while the Northern Zone recorded 23% of the cases, the coastal zone had a percentage of 51% with the Middle Zone recording 66%.
The research further revealed that out of the figure of 1.4 million pregnancies in 2017, 39% resulted in unintended births while 8% resulted in miscarriages.
The research also disclosed that 23% of all unintended pregnancies resulted in births with a 7% miscarriages being recorded.
Out of the figure of 1.4 million pregnancies, the research noted that 23% of all unintended pregnancies resulted in abortion.
A situation, which according to the researchers, called for an extensive education on the relatively liberal abortion laws as many women in Ghana sought illegal abortions which varied widely in terms of safety.
Worrying enough was the fact that 71% of all abortions in Ghana were procured under illegal circumstances as determined by the government, the research stated.
It indicated that a national figure in 2017 saw a pregnancy rate of 194 pregnancies per every 1000 women aged between 15 and 49 while unintended pregnancy rate soared to the rate of 103 per 1000.
It also illustrated that the rate of unintended pregnancies varied widely across the three ecological zones from 50 in the northern zone to 94 in the coastal zone and 131 in the middle zone.
The research explained that out of 1000 women aged between 15 and 49, a mean abortion rate of 44 was estimated which added up to over 327,600 abortions within the year with the mean rate varied among the three ecological zones, from 24 for the northern zone, 51 for the middle zone and 45 for the coastal zone.
Despite abortion being legal in the country, a huge number of women continued to obtain unsafe abortions and that called for improved access to information on how and where to obtain safe and legal abortion services.
In view of the above, the report called for better access to contraceptive services by offering a wide range of methods and what it referred to as high-quality counselling services so that women could choose methods that best meet their needs and prevent unintended pregnancies.
In conclusion, the Chairperson of the Dissemination Event, Dr Kofi Issah, urged government and policy makers to prioritise the health needs of the individual while entreating stakeholders to be persistent in driving home their concerns until attention was given to them.
He also recommended amongst others the training of lower level health care workers to provide comprehensive abortion care services.
He also indicated that access to safe, legal abortion services and post abortion care by increasing the number of trained providers and approved facilities that offer those services in order to reduce implications and deaths from unsafe abortions.
Source:Bizzzygh.com/Prosper Kwaku Selassy