Comparing women's access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) services in Uganda and Tanzania: Implications for unsafe abortions
YuHsin, H. (2016) Comparing women's access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) services in Uganda and Tanzania: Implications for unsafe abortions, no. 62.
Background: Although the global community promotes people's access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, the worldwide abortion frequency remains increasing. Most women living in the developing world receive unsafe abortions to terminate their pregnancies. This results in numerous maternal mortality and morbidity. Tanzania and Uganda retain restrictive abortion laws and both of them are located in Eastern Africa, where has the highest subregional unsafe abortion rate in the world. However, these two countries present different prognosis when it comes to unsafe abortion. Objective: This study aims to compare the influence of Tanzanian and Ugandan health policies and programs on women's access to relevant SRH services which can be used to deal with unsafe abortions. Methods: According to research questions, this desk study compared relevant academic articles, national and international non-governmental organisations' (NGOs) reports, which are written in English and published during 1994 to June 2016. Findings: Health policies and programmes increase accessibility and affordability of SRH services through facilitating service delivery, such as integrating post-abortion counselling into post-abortion care (PAC) services and decentralising relevant SRH services. Moreover, political environment improves social acceptability through raising people's awareness and promoting gender equity. This approach includes identifying marginalised groups and encouraging male involvement. In addition to these implementation determinants, coordination capability of government plays an influential role in women's access to abortion-related SRH services. Conclusion: From Tanzania and Uganda's experience, countries with restrictive abortion regulations can still deal with unsafe abortion and its consequences through shaping political environments to improve women's access to relevant SRH services. Keywords: SRH services, unsafe abortion, Uganda, Tanzania