Brief report on SAS Day Celebration:
Nepal government is celebrating National Safe Aborting Day from the last six years on Ashoj 10 emphasizing the day when abortion was legalized in Nepal 18 years back (Ashoj 10, 2059). Like every year, Ipas Nepal supported Family Welfare Division/MoHP to conduct 6th National Safe Abortion Day on Ashoj 10, 2077 (September 26, 2020). Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Day was celebrated virtually with Live in Facebook pages. There were more than 300 viewers on live. The program was chaired by the Director of Family Welfare Division where the Chief Guest was the Secretary of National Women Commission. The meeting was started with reading out the best wishes message sent by the Health Minister. FWD presented the situation of safe abortion services. The presentation highlighted the situation of unsafe abortion. The study shows that still 58% women and girls are going for clandestine abortion. During the country lockdown, the safe abortion services were decreased by 36%. To improve the situation and to make available of essential health services which includes safe abortion services, MoHP indorsed RMNCH Guideline where some new approaches such as telemedicine, home based services were spelled out. During the remarks on behalf of partner organizations, the Country Director, Ipas Nepal highlighted that RH services including safe abortion service is the fundamental rights of women and girls which is also mandated by the Constitution of Nepal. He also emphasized on the need of Telemedicine and Home services in this crisis to prevent maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion.
With the support of Ipas Nepal and other partner organizations, the Family Health Division organized a virtual Press Meet where 30 journalists from different media were attended. FWD gave an overview on safe abortion program and highlighted in the approaches taken in COVID-19 pandemic to increase access of RH services. There was a live healthy discussion and the questions raised by journalists were addressed. After the program, a Press Brief was distributed.
A Candlelight vigil was organized on the eve of SAS Day (Sept 25, 2020 at 5:30 pm). This year, the event was conducted virtually lighting the candle to remember the women and girls who lost their lives due to unsafe abortion. The program was started by lighting the candle by the Chief Guest, Hon. Jaya Puri Gharti, Chairperson of Education and Health Committee, House of Representative.
On her remarks, she highlighted that the Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act 2075 to be implemented effectively to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity and also committed that she would work together with government and other stakeholders to save the life of women and girls.