Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) is today holding a training of Health professionals on the legal defense of the Harm Reduction Model at Eureka Place in Kampala.
The training is aimed at increasing health worker commitment to utilize the harm reduction model in providing the needed and relevant legal and safe abortion services. Using the Harm Reduction model can greatly reduce harm before and after to save the lives of the women that are lost to complications as a result of clandestine unsafe abortions.
”Young women have approached us on various occasions seeking services to terminate unwanted pregnancies. We offer them counseling services, but when they go, they later return with abortion complications. Some buy drugs others use instruments to terminate pregnancies. Then they return to us for post abortion complication treatment. Government should allow abortion to specific circumstances like rape, defilement, incest etc because these are the cases we see every day. We believe if this is done, it will reduce the deaths of women that occur as they try to terminate these pregnancies ” a midwife remarked.
Uganda has one of the highest rates of unsafe abortion in Eastern Africa. According to the recent report released by the Guttmacher Institute, the estimated rate of 54 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age is far higher than the average of 39 abortions per 1,000 women from East African region. It is also important to note that Uganda still implements very archaic colonial legislations that restrict safe abortions and end up endangering lives of women. Training health service providers in the Harm reduction model therefore allows women access accurate information on access to safe and legal abortion
The training has attracted a number of service providers including obstetricians and midwives who have shared their experiences and the dilemma they face in providing abortion services including counseling and post-abortion care. They have remarked that the Harm Reduction Model and its legal defense are critical and timely for the work they do since they take oaths to save lives at all costs.