Hawa Binali of Kamwana village in the Area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalembo in Balaka District, is one of the women who have gone through a spontaneous abortion.

But if not for the service providers who were trained on Post Abortion Care (PAC) at Nandumbo Health Centre in Balaka District, Binali could have been among numerous women who have later had their uterus removed or indeed died due to unsafe abortion and lack of proper care after such an encounter.

Binali, divorced and in her middle twenties, says while expectant she noticed something unusual.

“I was pregnant for full two months and during the third month, I started bleeding heavily. After two days, a relative told me to go the hospital. At the hospital, I was asked if I had taken any pills to which I said no,’’ “The service provider confirmed that I had a spontaneous abortion and assisted me accordingly, all the pain stopped, and I returned home in good health’’ she testifies.

Assisted – Binali

Nandumbo Health Facility in Balaka District is one of the facilities whose service providers were trained on PAC by Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) under a project called Her Future Her Choice.

Through PAC, women that have had spontaneous abortion or indeed induced abortions are assisted accordingly at the hospital.

Nurse Midwife Technician at the facility Vitumbiko Banda says before the service providers were trained, they had no service provider specialized in PAC.

Banda assisting a client

“At one point we had a case from Chisawa which is part of Mangochi, the woman came at the facility during the night to seek PAC services but due to lack of providers we refereed the client to Balaka District Hospital.”

“The woman failed to go to the facility because of distance which is about 15 Kilometers. She failed to go in time and unfortunately, she went after a long time and her uterus was removed because it was now rotten due to unsafe abortion,’’ says Banda.

According to Banda, the facility now has five trained service providers in PAC and are now able to assist women in PAC as they did with the case of Binali.

He says cases of unsafe abortions is a challenge in the community since the facility alone sees two to three clients per week seeking PAC services. He observes that many women use local herbs to terminate the pregnancies.

“For some of the women in this community, their husbands are doing piece work in South Africa and sometimes they get boyfriends and get pregnant and so they try to terminate the pregnancy. So, it is a great problem in the community.

FPAM project Officer Esther Moyo says the organization is happy that women are now able to seek PAC services in the Area.

“Our role as one of the implementors of the project is to increase the knowledge and skills of service providers in service delivery. So far, we have been working with service providers from five facilities in Balaka in different interventions including PAC training’’.

“We have done the PAC trainings twice in the project year because we looked at the increase in numbers of unsafe abortion among young people. When women have had cases of abortions, the service providers should have the knowledge and expertise to assist them,’’ says Moyo.

Her Future Her Choice Project is a four-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada through OXFAM and it is implemented in Lilongwe and Balaka Districts. In Balaka the project is being implemented in T/A Amidu and Kalembo while in Lilongwe the project is being implemented in T/As of Chimutu and Maliri.