Bring back 'safe' abortion guidelines, say petitioners
SEE ALSO :South Korea lifts ban on abortionAbortion on demand Prof Joseph Karanja testified that the withdrawal of “Standard Guidelines” by the Ministry of Health in 2013, “scared” health practitioners and none of them would offer training on safe abortion. He also said the withdrawal of the use of “medabon” a drug used in procuring abortion, also caused confusion among health practitioners. Prof Karanja, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, explained to Judges Aggrey Muchelule, Mumbi Ngungi, George Odunga, Lydia Achode and John Mativo that safe abortion can be carried out through surgical and medical means. He said health practitioners had been attending training on safe abortions and all was well until the abrupt withdrawal and a memo issued banning them from attending such forums.
SEE ALSO :Woman linked to abortion bid arrestedHe said nurses and midwives are the most accessible health workers and it would have been advisable to train them on safe abortion. But because of lack of training, “every little problem is referred to Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi teaching and Referral hospital in Eldoret”. He said abortion on demand is illegal and health practitioners were aware of it. The medic said training is the norm worldwide and it was therefore a shocker for Kenya to ban it, yet abortion were still being carried out. The two NGOs challenged the withdrawal of the guidelines and the drug stating that it was a violation of rights of women and health workers. The memo directed all health care workers not to participate in any training on safe abortion and use of Medabon. The Ministry, through the Director of Medical Services warned the health workers that they will be prosecuted if they attend the trainings. But the two NGOs argue that the ministry's actions violate the rights of women and health workers under the law.