Thursday, July 26, 2007

Abortion in Kenya

Lately abortion has become a hot topic in Kenya. Everybody is talking about legalisation (or otherwise) of abortion in order to reduce the morbidity and mortality among women who currently seek those services in backstreet quack clinics.
I want to burst their bubble today by suggesting that abortion is legal in Kenya! All it would take is for two (or more) specialist doctors to agree that an abortion is necessary due to risk to the life of the mother or baby, and it would be done! I doubt that those now arguing loudest are ignorant of this fact.
On the contrary, I think the argument is about something totally different, the demedicalisation of abortion. This would mean removing doctors and medical professionals from the decision-making process on whether an abortion is necessary or not! Supposedly this is in pursuit of empowerment of women. Why anyone would want abortions to be ordered over the counter, as it were, baffles me.
Another argument being advanced is that abortion is a women's issue and men should not be involved. Without trivialising the argument, I wonder since when did women start impregnating themselves without the assistance of the male of the species! Men must be involved in this decision too!
Let's tackle the real issues, and stop skirting around them by concentrating on non-issues like legalisation of abortion!
I wonder what you think?

Substance Related Problems in Eldoret

Today we will talk about substance use, especially alcohol dependence and abuse, in Eldoret. It is becoming increasingly clear that the people of Eldoret in the North Rift love their tipple. This is resulting in many people ending up with alcohol related disorders including nutritional deficiencies, memory impairment and other physical and mental illnesses.
I think it is time we started tackling this issue with all seriousness. It is indeed an indictment of the mental health community in Western Kenya that there is no substance rehabilitation programme in the entire region, despite the high prevalence of these problems.
I am now calling on concerned persions to help set up such a unit, and to interest mental health and other medical practitioners to work towards controlling this problem.
Any takers?