Abortion | Ipas Ghana, a Non Governmental Organization providing reproductive health services advocacy has called the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover abortion services.
Speaking citifm, an Accra based radio station, Mr Philip Duah, Communications and Advocacy Chairman of IPAS Ghana YAB, made the call at a News conference in Tamale said it would be more economical for the cost of the service care to be borne by the NHIS.
According to him, contrary to the notion that including the service in the NHIS would rather increase and encourage young girls to go for it too often, it would rather help provide quality health care.
“Considering the spake of unsafe abortion, and the deaths and complications associated with unsafe abortion, the point we are trying to make it that, when the start in the house, and later come to the hospital, the Health Insurance would now cover because they are now dealing with complications” he noted.
He further added that, “why can’t we rather make the abortion services more friendly, more readily available, with more skilled providers being placed within the facilities, close to the people. If you do this, my brother, you would think that, women would be pushed to go and do it. No, they would not be pushed to go and so abortion”
The News conference formed part of increased advocacy by IPAS Ghana YAB in support of improved family planning and comprehensive sexual and reproductive care for young people in the country.
Mr Duah said the current situation where health care services for complications arising out of abortion operations were covered by the NHIS rather tended to increase the financial burden on the scheme.
He said the cost of abortion was dependent on the service provider saying it ranged from GH¢ 300 to GH¢ 550, a cost, which was too high for young girls to afford.
He was not happy that in spite of the fact that over 47,000 women across the world died annually due to unsafe abortion, society continued to put more human barriers leading to more deaths.
He also called on approved health facilities to be youth friendly by providing them with vital information on reproductive health and family planning services including safe abortion to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Mr Duah said “In ending problems associated with unsafe abortion and unwanted pregnancies, we strongly recommend increasing access to family planning services for all and addressing problems associated with services provision such as stigma.”
In Ghana, one can opt for the service under certain circumstances including incest, rape, and mental health reasons.