Centres for abortion come under scanner,Govt to cancel permits of those flouting guidelines

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population is gearing up for initiating action against those health facilities that have failed to follow official guidelines for carrying out abortions.
The ministry will continuously monitor facilities authorised to carry out safe abortions, said officials, adding that those flouting the ministry guidelines would be delisted and their permits would be cancelled. “If the health facilities are found violating legal procedures, they will be delisted,” said Dr Silu Aryal, focal person for safe abortion programme at Family Health Division.
She added that the division has already taken action against Kailali-based Health Care and Research Centre. “Although we have asked the centres in question to furnish verbal and written clarification, we are yet to hear from them,” said Dr Aryal.
During inspection visits, ministry officials had found malpractices in the centres. Service was provided by untrained auxiliary nurse midwives and the foetus was more than 12 weeks old. Basic sanitation procedures were also not being followed, said Aryal. Abortion was legalised in the country about a decade ago. The law allows abortion upon request during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The Civic Code states that if the mother’s life is in danger and in cases of rape and incest, pregnancy up to 18 weeks can be terminated in hospitals or clinics run by health ministry-certified doctors.
According to MoHP, 500,000 women have received safe, legal abortion services till date in more than 500 public and private abortion centres.
The monitoring was carried out by district public health nurse and a report was sent to the ministry.
Nepal Demographic and Health Survey-2011 showed that among all pregnancies, 85 per cent resulted in a live birth and eight per cent ended in induced abortion followed by one per cent still births and seven per cent miscarriages. The report also showed that only 38 per cent of women know that abortion is legal in Nepal.HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

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