HOME Affairs deputy minister Stephen Kampyongo has called for the revision of the Termination of Pregnancy Act No. 26 of 1972.
Mr Kampyongo who is also Shiwang’andu member of Parliament (MP) and a member of the Zambia All Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (ZAPPD) said the Act is a challenge in rural areas including his constituency.
“In rural areas where clinics are far away and may not even have three medical practitioners, this is an impossible requirement to comply with. This has serious implications for access to safe abortion, especially if the untrained personnel have negative attitudes towards abortion,” Mr Kampyongo said.
The deputy minister said in rural areas, most health centres have serious staff and equipment shortages and are unable to provide a basic package of primary healthcare services or provide 24 hours coverage.
Mr Kampyongo was speaking during the Youth-Policy Maker Dialogue meeting organised by IPAS Zambia recently.
The TOP Act requires that three medical practitioners must authorise an abortion and that one of the medical practitioners must be a specialist in the branch of medicine in the event that the pregnant patient may need to be examined in mental or physical health.
Earlier ZAPPD chairperson Highvie Hamududu, called for the introduction of contraceptives among the adolescents to prevent unintended pregnancies.
Mr Hamududu said denying adolescents contraceptives has an adverse impact on national development.
“We cannot hide the reality about adolescents getting involved in sexual activities and the best we can do now is to introduce preventive measures. Time is now so that we prevent future disaster where girls do not complete school because of early pregnancies,” Mr Hamududu.
Mr Hamududu who is also Bweengwa MP said a strong foundation of any nation is dependant of its youthful population.
And Mazabuka Central MP Gary Nkombo said youths have been left with fewer options to prevent pregnancies which has resulted in many of them seeking unconventional methods of aborting.
Mr Nkombo said there was need to come up with long lasting preventive measures to avoid unsafe abortions among adolescents.
ZAPPD consists of parliamentarians aimed at providing a forum for discussion by MPs and interested organisations on population, development and reproductive health rights and issues.
Zambia Daily Mail