Gorkhatimes

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229,000 Nepali women receive abortion services

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 8, 2009

KATHMANDU, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — Around 229,000 Nepali women have received abortion services till 2009 since the operation is legalized, said Nepali official.

Nepali government on Friday said that legalization of abortion helped Nepal reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) immensely and that a six-month pilot project, which ran this year to implement Medical Abortion (MA) has shown signs that it will help decrease the rate further.

Abortion was legalized in Nepal in March, 2002. The immediate effect was reduction of MMR from 539 per 100,000 live births in 1996 to 289 in 2006. Nepal aims to bring down MMR to 134 by 2015, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported on Saturday.

The safe abortion procedural order 2060 (2003/2004) of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) approved medical abortion (pharmacological) as one of the alternative technologies for safe abortion.

Presenting the key findings of the pilot project and recommendations to scale up safe MA services, Chairperson of the government MA task force Meera Ojha said, “The service has already been expanded to all the districts of the country with 245 listed certified abortion care centers, 610 doctors and 94 trained nurses.”

According to Ojha, 229,000 women have received abortion services till 2009.

In 2008, MoHP developed a strategic guideline to expand safe abortion services through MA and a six-month-long pilot study was implemented in six districts covering all five development regions of the country.

The pilot project was conducted in 32 listed service sites in the districts. “A total of 26,620 women received safe abortion services while 1,718 women received the same through MA,” said Ojha.

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