15 May 2018

Ghana: Unsafe Abortion Cannot Be Ignored - Marie Stopes CEO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Marie Stopes International, Mr Simon Cooke, has reiterated the need to make more services for safe abortion available and accessible to women to reduce maternal deaths in Ghana.

He said some pregnant women were engaging in unsafe abortion because they do not get the right services.

The CEO however commended Ghana for the country's moves towards cutting the rates of dangerous termination of pregnancies.

Mr Cooke made the comments when he interacted with the press during a familiarisation visit to the country to learn more about the progress of the operations of Marie Stopes International, Ghana.

Marie Stopes International is a global organisation with 12,000 team members working in 37 countries to deliver superior sexual reproductive health services.

According to the CEO, abortion cannot be ignored because unsafe termination of pregnancies was claiming the lives of women, a situation which could be avoided.

"There is, therefore, the need to offer quality services to ensure that lives are not lost," he pointed out.

"If they don't know where to get the services, they will find other ways to get abortion which might be unsafe and they might hurt themselves.

"If abortion is restricted or not available, women will still seek it and will still take matters into their own hands, so the best thing is to make it properly regulated and accessible," he stated.

One of the organisation's programmes is the recently launched 'Time to Talk' campaign, which seeks to encourage young girls to ask pressing questions on pregnancy and family planning and receive professional responses that will help them to make better choices.

Under the "Time to Talk" programme, an outreach team goes close to the people, listens to them and provide them with the right advice. The campaign also uses social media platforms to engage the youth in discussions on sexual reproductive health.

The Country Director for Marie Stopes International, Ghana, Ms Anne Coleen, expressed concern about the inadequate information on sexual reproductive health in the country.

This, according to her, has led to some misconceptions about family planning and sex related issues.

She, however, urged the Ghanaian youth, especially adolescents to contact Marie Stopes for support concerning their sexual health.

"We have a lot of volunteers in the communities who are trained to give the right message to the people that have the questions," she said.

Singer, MzVee, who is the "Time to Talk" Ambassador, urged women, especially young ladies, to be bold and ask the right questions about their sexual life.

She assured them that Marie Stopes International is proficient enough to provide the right services for them.

As part of the visit, Mr Cooke led a team, including MzVee and Ms Anne Coleen, to visit the Marie Stopes International Centre at Dansoman to share the experiences of its staff and clients.

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