Nepal | July 13, 2020

Illegal abortions rife in far-west region

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:
Women undergoing treatment after  unsafe abortion, at Seti Zonal Hospital, in Dhangadi, on Monday, May 16, 2016. Photo: THT

Women undergoing treatment after unsafe abortion, at Seti Zonal Hospital, in Dhangadi, on Monday, May 16, 2016. Photo: THT

Bajura, May 16

Despite having five of its districts on the list of the top ten districts in Nepal in terms of public health facilities, the far-west region still has shown a very high number of illegal abortions.

Achham, Baitadi, Kanchanpur, Doti, and Bajhang stand second, fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the list of top ten districts in the country that provide excellent health services. However, the number of illegal and unsafe abortions is on the rise in all districts of the region.

As per the government’s directives, abortions should only be conducted from an authorised centre by authorised health workers.

Legal requirements mandate that the foetus be no more than 12 weeks’ old and the mental and physical condition of the woman be sound for an abortion to be legal.

“Despite laws that state that it is mandatory for facilities to only allow licensed and trained health practitioners to conduct abortion, these rules are neglected in both rural and urban areas,” Dr Ganesh Bahadur Singh of Seti Zonal Hospital, Dhangadi said.

Dr Singh added that there is a growing trend of inducing a miscarriage by taking pills and without carrying out any required medical tests. “We see many cases of women inducing miscarriages through pills without consulting a doctor, which leads to several health problems ranging from abdominal cramps to profuse bleeding during miscarriage,” he said.

The drug ‘Mifepristone’ is widely used to abort in this region. Although this drug is not allowed to be sold or bought without prescription, medical shops in rural areas sell it to anyone who asks for it.

These pills are brought from India via Nepalgunj, Mahendranagar, and Dhangadi and cost between Rs 1,000 to 3,000 per tablet in local markets in the far-west region.

Currently, there are a total of 36 health organisations licensed to carry out abortions in the far-west region. In the fiscal of 2014/15, around 642 women came to hospitals after complications arising from an illegally conducted abortion.

Dr Mohan Nath, chief of District Health Office, Bajura conceded that illegal sale of the abortion drug takes place in the region. Dr Nath added that although the Department of Drug Administration, Nepalgunj, is supposed to monitor the sale of prescription drugs, it is yet to take any action in this regard.

Menu Shrestha, department chief of the Department of Drug Administration, attributed the failure to monitor medical shops to the lack of inspectors. “It is not that we have forgotten our duty; the problem is that we lack manpower.

There are 24 districts in the region but only three inspectors.

What can the three do?” she asked, adding, “One of the three has to man the office, and it is extremely difficult for the remaining two to monitor all medical shops in all the districts.”

A version of this article appears in print on May 17, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Security Printing Bill registered in National Assembly stipulates reliable service

KATHMANDU, JULY 11 The Security Printing Bill registered by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in the National Assembly on July 8 stipulates the provision of a security printing centre. As per the bill, the centre shall be an autonomous body. The functions, duties and p Read More...

Population management government priority, says Health Minister Dhakal

KATHMANDU, JULY 11 Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal said the government has prioritised management of population for the country’s development. Delivering a message on the occasion of the 25th World Population Day today, Minister Dhakal claimed that Nepal had made progres Read More...

‘Waterborne disease, another threat for nation’

KATHMANDU, JULY 11 While the country is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, health workers have warned that people are under the risk of waterborne diseases during monsoon. “With flooding and water logging, there are chances of a surge in waterborne diseases,” said Anup Bastola, consu Read More...

Flood displaces scores in Saptari

RAJBIRAJ, JULY 11 Scores of families have been displaced after floodwaters swamped their houses in Saptari’s Hanumannagar Kankalini Municipality. According to Hunumannagar Kandalini Municipality-13 Ward Chair Bindeshwor Yadav, some 75 families of Gobargadha have been rescued and temporarily Read More...

Two more bodies recovered

JAJARKOT, JULY 11 Two more missing bodies were recovered from the landslide debris in Sharki Tole of Barekot Rural Municipality, Jajarkot, today. With this, the death toll reached nine. As many as 12 persons had gone missing after the landslides swept away two houses at Sharki Tole. Bodies of Read More...

Nepse index surges on positive cues from SEBON

KATHMANDU, JULY 11 Along with the secondary and commodities market regulator showing positive cues to develop the secondary market, the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index surged by 5.98 per cent or 75.16 points to 1,331.27 points in the trading week between July 5 and 9. Share investors ha Read More...

gold prices

Price of precious metals rises in domestic market

KATHMANDU, JULY 11 Price of precious metals surged in the domestic market during the trading week between July 5 and 10. According to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA), on Sunday gold was priced at Rs 90,500 a tola and declined by Rs 300 a tola on Mon Read More...

MoALD asks MoF to manage loans for farmers

KATHMANDU, JULY 11 The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) has requested the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to arrange a provision for farmers to receive loans on the basis of their products. In a letter to the MoF on July 7, MoALD made a request to introduce a provision where Read More...