Uganda National Health Users/consumers Organization- UNHCO has embarked on a door to door campaign against health workers involved in illegal abortions. Abortion in Uganda is legal and permissible when a pregnancy endangers a woman's life or her physical and mental health.
However, sections of the constitutional and Penal Code make unlawful abortion criminal. Article 22(2) of the constitution states that, No person has the right to terminate the life of an unborn child except as may be authorized by law.
Section 141 of the penal code act states that, Any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means, commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years
Illegal abortions are usually conducted in unsafe environment using crude methods leading to complications and deaths of the mothers. Despite the absence of official statistics, the Health Ministry estimates that abortions accounts for a third of the 75% of maternal deaths in the country.
Now, Moses Talibita, the Legal Officer Uganda National Health Users/consumers Organization says they have launched a door to door campaign in Mbarara to stamp out illegal abortions. He says as part of the campaign they are gathering evidence on health workers involved in illegal abortions in their private clinics.
According to Talibita, Uganda National Health Users/consumers Organization will use the data to petition parliament to increase the health budget to enable Health Inspectors intensify monitoring of Health Workers that carry out illegal abortions.
//Cue in: â€œwe hate thoseâ€¦â€¦
Cue out:â€¦..out abortions.â€//
The intervention by Uganda National Health Users/consumers Organization follows the death of 20-year-old Shamillah Namubiru, a student of YMCA in Mbarara in the hands of a lab technician Julius Taremwa during a botched abortion.
Namubiru's body was found along the road in Kakiika division Mbarara Municipality on April 15th, 2015. Adson Okechu, the LC1 chairperson surveyor cell in Kakiika division says after discovering the body they searched in the nearby clinic only to discover her clothes and bed sheets in the clinic belonging to Julius Taremwa, a lab technician working with Mbarara regional referral Hospital.
Garry Turyantunga, a detective at Mbarara Central Police Station says they are still hunting for Taremwa. He says they have registered more than ten cases of illegal abortions resulting into death of young girls since the beginning of this year.
Agatha Nshabohurira, the assistant Mbarara District Health Officer Mbarara has welcomed the campaign by Uganda National Health Users/consumers Organization to address the problem of illegal abortions.