Abortion in New Juaben | There is enough evidence that cost is a huge factor with regards to a woman’s decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Many women actually seek the services of quacks to avoid paying huge costs demanded by some doctors.
In this country, due to the stigma attached to abortion, most of the doctors who offer the service do so secretly and tend to behave as if they are doing the clients a favour. Their services, therefore, come at great cost and many women cannot afford.
An assignment to find out exactly how much it cost to have Comprehensive Abortion care in the New Juaben Municipality in the Eastern Region yielded surprising findings.
A random sampling of a number of young people revealed that the least one had to pay for safe abortion services in the municipality was GHC 200.00.
Some even were emphatic that was the amount charged at the hospital, although they could not indicate whether they were referring to the public or private hospitals.
However, according to Dr Edmund Ekow Kaitoo, Municipal Director of Health Services, “it is not more than GHC 50.00, even that, the figures we have been recording are low because of the stigma attached to it”
As of 2012, the cost according to the former Municipal Director, Dr L. K. Senaya, was GHC 20 and that was the directive from the Regional office.
In a stern voice, Dr Senaya said: “when a woman walks in to have an abortion, it means we as an institution have failed in the family planning campaign and we should find a way of doing it safely.”
Dr Senaya, however, added that if a person came to the hospital with a complication, it falls in a class of its own and may attract a different cost. ‘Induced abortion’, he explained could result in various complications including a ruptured womb that would require expensive corrective surgeries.
According to the director, free counselling services are provided to women who visit health facilities for comprehensive abortion.
He further stressed that under whatever circumstances, health personnel should not deny services to any woman who qualifies under the law to have safe abortion care.
He said “look, if a woman does not want pregnancy and we don’t help her, she would go somewhere and try to abort it, and if there are complications, she would be brought to us to do the dirty work; she could even die. We should not create a financial barrier.”
Mrs Evelyn Owusu-Acheaw, Chief Nursing Officer for the Eastern Region, however, says that the cost of services “depends on the age of the pregnancy, the higher the pregnancy, the higher the price. “It is between GHC 50.00 to GHC 60.00 but sometimes, when the health workers assess the situation, they could even ask the client to go free.
When they listen to the story behind the incident and the client can’t afford to pay, they provide the service for free”
This was confirmed by Madam Rose Osei, the Midwife at the Koforidua Polyclinic. She said, “we charge between GHC 50 to GHC 60 depending on the situation”
She then hinted that “for those who start bleeding at home without any fault of theirs, we call that spontaneous abortion, the NHIS covers that, sometimes, when we look at the situation, we can even let them go free”
She concluded by saying, for those who temper with the pregnancy at home before being rushed to the hospital, they are treated differently and their cost can be high depending on the extent of the complications they come with.
For 2016, 127 women walked into the Koforidua Polyclinic to access Comprehensive Abortion Care.