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    Mozambique receives US$5m Swedish support for safe abortion programme

    APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

    The Swedish government and the international non-governmental organisation Ipas have agreed to collaborate with Mozambique to ensure access by women and girls to safe abortion and contraception services in the southern African country, APA learnt here on Thursday.

    The Swedish embassy in the Mozambican capital Maputo said in a statement that the programme started in late January and is expected to run until December 2019.

    The European country would contribute up to US$5 million towards increasing the knowledge, opportunities and capacities of women and girls to take informed and safe decisions about abortion and contraception.

    Ipas works with the Mozambican Ministry of Health and is a member of the ministry’s Technical Group on Abortion, which is developing norms and directives for the provision of comprehensive abortion services.

    Abortion was decriminalised under the new Penal Code, approved by the Mozambican parliament in 2014.

    The Ministry of Health estimates that about 11 percent of maternal mortality in Mozambique is due to unsafe and clandestine abortions.

    The Swedish embassy said safe abortion services are currently only available in the urban areas of southern Mozambique and the intervention by the European country would focus on Nampula and Zambezia provinces in the north and centre of the southern African county where there is little or no abortion service.

    Between them, these two provinces account for about 40 percent of the Mozambican population.


    Maternal mortality is still high in Mozambique, which has an estimated rate of 490 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, according to figures from the World Health Organization. A significant number of these deaths are attributed to complications resulting from unsafe abortions.


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