Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services recorded 7335 cases of abortion between April and December 2016, said Bernhard Haufiku, Minister of Health and Social Services on Monday.

Of the 7335, only 138 of the recorded cases of abortion during the said period were carried out on medical grounds while the 7197 were carried out by young women the under the age of 25 violated the law and carried out street abortions.

According to Haufiku, the statistics were drawn only from the women who showed up at health facilities when abortion is incomplete or when they developed complications.

“We collected within that data; women who are dying of complications due to illegal abortion, those at casualty as well as those that might were brought in dead at the mortuary. And in most cases, family members of these women are usually not aware that they (young women) are pregnant or aware of the situation,” said Haufiku.

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He also added that unsafe abortions are also contributing to the increasing number of maternal and neo-natal deaths cases. As such, between April 2012 and November 2016, according to the Minister, the 3537 maternal deaths were reported while neo-natal deaths between the year 2012 and 2015 were estimated at 3434.

Meanwhile, in efforts to address this challenge, the Minister has called on national debate and community engagement on abortion and health care in the country.

“We want wider participation and debate from the community in an unbiased manner. So that when we pass or change the regulation we have had undertaken a comprehensive consultation process,” he said.

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Abortion is illegal in Namibia, unless carried out on medical grounds. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/