Women seeking safe abortion spike in Bajura

BAJURA: Uma Thapa (name changed) residing in Budiganga Municipality of Bajura district underwent two unsafe abortions and had to visit Bayalpata hospital in Aacham district for treatment.

However, this time around, she aborted a fetus at a local Devalsen Health Centre as safe abortion service has been launched at the facility in the village.

Like Uma Thapa, a majority of women hesitate to seek safe abortion service due to shyness, social taboo and stigma attached to it. Most of them are compelled to undergo an unsafe abortion or give birth to an unwanted child.

Auxillary Mid-Wife Durga Giri at the Devalsen Health Centre said, "Women seeking safe abortion has risen unexpectedly as safe abortion service has been launched here."

Till now 60 women have safely aborted their fetus at the facility, Giri shared.

Earlier, we were compelled to refer cases to Bayalpata Hospital in Aacham for abortion, now local women are receiving such service locally.

According to Staff Nurse Sushila Singh, safe abortion service was only available in District Health Office and Primary Health Centre in Kolti, however, now, such service has been expanded to 13 different health centres in the district.

Meanwhile, such service is available free of cost from all the centres in the district, Singh shared.

"Instead, the government provides Rs 800 per person to the centre in return of providing abortion service to women. The fund is used for employees and other management purposes of the centre," Singh added.

Bajura Women Right Forum Chairman Rukhmani Thapa said, "Women are relieved to make a two-day journey to the district hospital for abortion as such service is now available in the village."

A non-profit international organisation, Ipass Nepal Bajura, Coordinator Mahesh Joshi said as many as 376 women have benefited from safe abortion service from a local health facility.

District Health Office Bajura said safe abortion awareness programme among youths, women, volunteers have been launched in the district.

According to National Statistics 7 per cent, mothers die due to unsafe abortion in the country.