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Monday, November 19, 2012

One Indian woman dies of abortion every 2 hrs

New Delhi: India, where a woman dies of unsafe abortion every two hours, may soon allow abortion services in its 25,000 primary health centres, which are the first points of care for India's rural population. 

    The health ministry is also looking to allow "mid-level service providers" like staff nurses and ayurveda, unani and siddha (AYUSH) doctors to conduct safe abortions — thanks to the lack of MBBS doctors in the country's rural areas, who are the only ones allowed to conduct an abortion. 
    India has been quite vocal in expressing shock on Savita Halappanavar's death in Ireland. But India itself has a shamefully high death rate due to unsafe abortions or lack of availability of abortion services. 
    National Rural Health Mission chief Anuradha Gupta said abortion-related deaths contribute to 8% (approximately 4,600 deaths annually) of all maternal deaths in India. Experts say even as India protests to Ireland around Savita's death, it is actually among the 11 countries responsible for 65% of all maternal deaths globally resulting from unsafe abortions. 
    "Savita's death is one among 358,000 maternal deaths annually (based on 2008 WHO 
data) around the globe. Since she died, more than 1,000 other women have also died every day, due to the combination of obstetric complications and inadequate, inappropriate or no treatment," an expert said. A committee was constituted to draft recommendations to The MTP Act in 2006. A number of meetings were held till 2010 to finalize the amendments with the primary focus of allowing nurses and AYUSH doctors to carry out abortions. 
    "In India alone, 286 women died due to unsafe abortions or not have having access to abortion services in the past 22 days following Savita's death. The committee looking at amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act hasn't met since 2010," an expert on maternal health said.



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