February 14, 2013

Abortion Sucks 37.8 billion out of Health Budget Annually

inister of Health DR Christine-Ondoa
inister of Health DR Christine-Ondoa

The Ugandan health sector spends 37.8 billion shillings annually (about $ 130 million) in Post Abortion Care (PAC). Health Economists have revealed that this comes to about 350,000 shillings per patient.The money is spent on medical care, equipment, labour as well as dealing with related complications and psycho social needs. This means that for the health sector approved budget, 660 million shillings goes towards post abortion care. The amount takes 4.7% of the 31.1 billion shillings of the entire health budget that the government provides. According to Dr. Fredrick Mugisha, a Health Economist, PAC complications require delicate and complicated procedures without which mothers lives are at risk. Dr. Simon Peter Lugoloobi told Uganda Radio Network Monday that at Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) more women are frequently turning up for post abortion care. He says there is need to improve post abortion care services, since unsafe abortions continue to be procured everyday in Uganda A recent report by the Guttmacher institute found out that there are nearly 700,000 unplanned births in Uganda each year and extremely high levels of unsafe abortions, maternal death and related illnesses. Dr. Mugisha said that Ugandan women from all levels of society seek abortions, which mostly are clandestine and unsafe. However the level of risk depends on the socio economic status of those procuring the abortions. He says In the report the health system cost of post abortion care in Uganda , published in the peer review journal Health Policy and Planning, a dollar spend in a household on PAC could save five dollars. This translates to each household saving 13,275 UGX. Reacting to the new evidence, Dr. Charles Kiggundu a Gynecologist at Mulago Hospital said as long as women have unwanted pregnancies they will continue to resort to unsafe abortions. Dr. Kiggundu added that the health system was overwhelmed to handle increasing cases of PAC. He called for provision of post abortion care and implementing the law on safe abortion.

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