Newly appointed Prime Minister in Tanzania is in sync with President Magufuli as he threatens to sack and possibly imprison doctors who perform illegal abortions in the country.
Abortion is illegal under the laws in Tanzania which is punishable by up to 14 years in jail; however the law is lenient on abortion procedures done to save the life of a woman.
The government crackdown on illegal abortion operations is a reaction to recent reports of doctors in both public and private hospitals accepting payments to perform abortions; which has led to increased cases of complications arising out of illegal abortions.
Maternal mortality rates stands at 454 deaths per 100,000 live births in Tanzania according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) figures. Tanzania government officials have linked the figures to abortion related complications.
“These unlawful acts are totally unacceptable; doctors who entertain this behaviour will not be spared… I don’t want to hear labour rooms are being used for terminating pregnancies.” Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told doctors at Ruvuma Regional Hospital in the southern highlands during a surprise visit to the hospital this week reports Reuters
Hundreds of abortions re done in secret in Tanzania’s Public and private hospitals according to Hospital based data. Studies show that 60 percent of women admitted in hospitals with suspected miscarriages underwent an abortion.
The Prime minister has instructed local health authorities in Tanzania to investigate and identify doctors involved in secret abortions and take disciplinary action against them.