Nepal | July 13, 2020

Unsafe abortion rife in Bajura

Prakash Singh
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Locals receive health facilities by Phase Nepal in Bajura

File – Locals gather outside a health check-up at a clinic organised by the Phase Nepal in Siradi village of Kolti-4 in Bajura district, on August 31, 2016. Photo: Prakash Singh/ THT

Bajura, October 13

Women in Bajura are exposed to unsafe abortion due to a dearth of trained manpower in local health facilities.

According to the Regional Health Directorate, District Public Health Office of Bajura and Kolti Primary Health Centre are the facilities authorised to carry out safe abortion. Interestingly enough, the health facilities lack trained manpower.

“As there is absolutely no one who is medically trained to conduct abortion safely, many a times we have had to turn service seekers away,” said Rohit Kumar Giri, medical officer at District Public Health Office, Bajura. He said there was not a single health facility in the district where women could seek safe abortion.

Nearly a week ago, 32-year-old Dhauli Luwar of Badimalika-7, Korcha visited the District Health Office, Bajura for a safe abortion but returned disappointed. Desperate, she then took some drugs on the recommendation of a pharmacist to get rid of the unwanted foetus, but she faced serious health complications.

When she could not be treated at the DPHO, she was referred to Bayalpata. As per the sources at DPHO, she had to be referred elsewhere after blood needed for her was not available in the district hospital. A health worker at the DPHO admitted that lack of trained manpower at the DPHO was behind Dhauli’s current critical health.

Similarly, Ganga BK (name changed) of Kotila village development committee had reportedly gone to the health centre of Kolti for abortion. Though the health centre was licenced to carry out abortions, the centre lacked trained health workers to complete the procedure. “As I didn’t have money to go to elsewhere by spending a huge amount, I bought some drug from a local medical shop and got my foetus aborted,” she said.

Siddharaj Bhatta, public health inspector at Regional Health Directorate, Dipayal admitted that health centres lacked trained manpower. “In fact, we weren’t aware whether or not the health workers in the authorised abortion centres were trained,” he said.

On his part, Medical Officer Giri bemoaned the lack of initiatives from the higher up authorities despite frequent correspondence for the training. As per the law of the land, foetuses up to 12 weeks can be aborted but only from recognised health facility.

A version of this article appears in print on October 14, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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