NEWS IN CONTEXT
Guttmacher Institute and Ipas Convene Consultation on Unsafe Abortion in Africa
March 23, 2006
More than 140 researchers, policymakers, donor agencies, journalists, advocates and health care providers from 16 countries gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 20-24 to review existing evidence of the extent and consequences of unsafe abortion in Sub-Saharan Africa and to identify the steps needed to mobilize support for new policies and programs to address the problem. Participants in this groundbreaking meeting will become a network of policy-oriented researchers to advance a common research agenda, with the ultimate goal of reducing maternal illness and death due to unsafe abortion.
The meeting in Addis Ababa was the initial phase of a larger effort aimed at bringing attention to unsafe abortion worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 million unsafe abortions occur in Africa each year, resulting in about 30,000 deaths annually. Virtually all these deaths are eminently preventable, as are most of the unintended pregnancies that lead to abortion.
In addition to the Guttmacher Institute and Ipas, co-organizers of the meeting include the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (Nigeria), Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), the African Population and Health Research Center (Kenya) and the Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians-Gynecologists (Ethiopia).
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