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Lack of equipment worries Mzimba DHO

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Health authorities in Mzimba have warned that patients who undergo post-arbotion care may continue developing serious health complications due to lack of proper equipment for treatment.

Nursing Officer at Mzimba District Hospital, Wezzie Nyirongo, said this on Thursday when a team of Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Northern Region went on a fact-finding tour to the district hospital regarding issues of unsafe abortions.

Making a presentation, Nyirongo disclosed that as of October the hospital had 207 admissions due to abortions representing 26 percent of total admissions to the facility.

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She bemoaned absence of a scanning machine for over a year among other necessary equipment which she said compromises some of the procedures that the women undergo such as the Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA).

“There are times when they need to be screened to ensure that all products of conception have been removed but we can’t do it, and if such products have not been traced and removed, there could be serious health problems,” Nyirongo explained.

Some of the complications such women suffer include: anaemia, sepsis, uterine perforation, infertility and death.

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She further cited intermittent supply of drapes which are used to prepare MVA packs in the theatre to ensure they remain sterilised for safety as another problem.

“The frequent blackouts are also a major challenge, our generator may not be supplied with fuel at all times, so despite the workload, the power outages also affect our service delivery,” she added.

Asked on some of the reasons behind the alarming statistics of unsafe abortions, Nyirongo cited wife desertion as one major contributing factor.

She said when husbands leave for South Africa to search for jobs as it is a common practice in the district, wives engage in extra-marital affairs.

“When they fall pregnant from such relationships, and news reaches them that the husband is coming, they usually resort to unsafe ways of pregnancy termination,” she narrated.

Commenting on the developments at Mzimba Hospital, leader of delegation Commodius Nyirenda who is MP for Nkhata Bay North- East Constituency said unsafe abortion is a national problem and calls for concerted efforts in solving it.

He said: “We are in a difficult situation as a nation, and together we can take bold steps and make those difficult decisions for the sake of the future of our nation.”

This comes a few days after the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central African Presbytery (CCAP) and the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) of the Roman Catholic Church condemned the ongoing campaigns for change of legislation to make termination of pregnancy legal in the country.

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