In Global Health, Abortion Bears the Scarlet A

Monday, April 21, 2014

At the Kamazu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, Dr. Grace Chiudzu, the head of the maternity ward, ticks off the most common issues her patients face: “One is bleeding, second is infections, third is abortion complications.”

Malawi, a country where 60 percent of the population lives in poverty and 1 in 36 women dies while pregnant or during childbirth, has been something of a development darling. This is largely thanks to President Joyce Banda, who puts health high on the national agenda. Malawi’s donors, including the United States, the Gates Foundation and many others, have thrown support behind Banda’s Safe Motherhood Initiative, an intrepid plan to save the lives of the many Malawian women who die or are seriously injured while pregnant or giving birth. Donors highlight their work to fix some of the problems that Chiudzu mentions: using drugs to stop hemorrhaging, training birth attendants to help counteract complications, delivering antibiotics to treat sepsis and other infections.

But there’s one word you don’t hear very often from their mouths: “abortion.”

Source: Aljazeera America (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
governance, reproductive health