A consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Mohammed Garba, has warned women against engaging in unsafe abortion.
The gynaecologist noted that the increasing incidence of unsafe abortion in the country is linked to high cases of maternal mortality.
Unsafe abortions, he said, are most times caused by unplanned pregnancies, adding that the current laws on abortion in the country are also not helping the efforts to curb the problem.
Garba explained that with the current laws on abortion in Nigeria, most women with an unplanned pregnancy who desire abortion usually get operated on by unskilled persons.
The gynaecologist, who works with the Gombe State Specialist Hospital, stated this while speaking shortly after a one-day religious dialogue on Child Spacing, organised by the Gombe State Advocacy Working Group.
Speaking further at the event supported by Pathfinder International, Garba stressed that child spacing should be embraced by Nigerians, noting that it would help reduce the increasing rate of maternal mortality.
“Unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion will reduce if more women embrace family planning and child spacing.
“This will enable them to have children when they want to and reduce the possibility of unplanned pregnancy that may lead to unsafe abortion.
“An abortion is unsafe when it is done by someone who does not have the skill and when it is not done in a place not certified as medically capable for the procedure.
“Unsafe abortion may cause irregular menstruation, infertility, chronic pelvic pain among other issues,” he said.
According to Garba, the dialogue on child spacing was organised to educate women about child spacing, and how it can help reduce maternal mortality.
Child spacing, he said, “helps in reducing maternal mortality by helping to reduce the number of pregnancies.”
Commenting on the role of health workers in the uptake of child spacing, Garba called for regular training, noting that it would health workers to provide better and proper support to clients.
According to him, “People trained to offer the services should be the ones to offer it and not people who are not qualified. This is why training is important.”
Also speaking at the event, Mohammed Abubakar, from the Federal University of Kashere, who is also a chief Imam in Kumbiya-Kumbiya, Gombe State, said the issue of child spacing is contemporary, noting that Islam supports it.
“You know Islam is compatible with every contemporary issue like this and it has an answer for every problem that may come up in the world.
“Therefore, I can say child spacing is a contemporary issue. If you follow the things said so far at this gathering you will be well guided. Child spacing is acceptable, it depends on the circumstances and situation,” Abubakar said.
On his part, Chairman Advocacy Working Group, Alhassan Yahya said embracing child spacing would help Gombe to reduce the rate of maternal mortality.