Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) has said it was important for young people to have knowledge on post abortion care so they could share with other members of the community.
In an interview on Tuesday during training for young people on post abortion care in Ntchisi, FPAM Director of Programmes, Tazirwa Chipeta described the training as crucial as young people are viewed as young advocates who can teach people at community level to understand amendments made to the termination of pregnancy bill which was rejected in parliament.
The training which was conducted under the Women Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) 2 action project where post abortion care issues is one of the areas of interest drew participants from Traditional Authorities Kalumo and Chilooko.
According to Chipeta, the project was aimed at promoting policy dialogue and advocacy for Post Abortion Care through strengthened key stakeholder coordination, enhanced community engagement, multi-media engagement and evidence generation
“There are three additions to the amendments, and these are: malformation of fetus, rape and incest where it will be up to the owner whether to abort or not with an evidence of a report and the last is when the pregnancy is going to cause some health damage to the woman whether physical or mental, she said.
Chipeta said that because there was lack of information amongst the general population, the project seeks to take this discussion from national level to the communities so that people have a true picture of what the amendment is all about.
Meanwhile despite the existing legal restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion under sections 149, 150, and 151 of the panel code, section 243 makes exception when the life and health of a woman or girl is in danger.
Post Abortion Care Coordinator for Ntchisi, Griffin Zambetsani said the project have a lot of impact to the district because there are a lot of cases of women with complications that have come about because of unsafe abortions.
We feel that this project will bring in more insights and improve the quality of care that we give to clients hence reducing number of maternal deaths especially when the bill is tabled and passed in parliament, he said.
Zambetsani said that this year alone one woman has died because of maternal death in the district and that there are about 600 cases of abortions per year according to 2021 statistics in the district.
Chairlady for Mwayiwathu Youth Club, Milicah Banda expressed said the training was important adding would make sure to advocate for Post Abortion Care and the proposed amendment of the bill in her community since she has gained more knowledge on the matter.
With funding from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), FPAM is implementing the project in Traditional Authorities (TAs) Kalumo and Chilooko in the district.