Week in Health

In health last week, government could soon table before Parliament an amendment Bill that seeks to cut the bureaucracy involved in the process of authorising abortion.

In health last week, government could soon table before Parliament an amendment Bill that seeks to cut the bureaucracy involved in the process of authorising abortion.

Currently abortion is a criminal offence under the Rwandan law but the practice has a waiver under Article 165 of the Penal Code that liberate from any criminal liability a woman who procures abortion or a medical doctor who facilitates the abortion in case of pregnancy as a result of incest, rape, forced marriage, and /or when the continuation of a pregnancy seriously threatens the health of the unborn baby or the pregnant woman.

But for the waiver to come into force, a professional doctor and a competent court of law must have authorised the procedure to terminate the pregnancy.

This time around pro-abortion activists and some legal minds argue that such sections, introduced in the Penal Code ostensibly prevent unnecessary abortions, present lengthy bureaucracies in processing legal authorisation before one can procure an abortion.

Elsewhere, Police in the Southern Province arrested the Director of Huye-based Kabutare Hospital, Dr Saleh Niyonzima, and the hospital accountant over allegations of embezzlement.

The arrests followed an audit exercise that was carried out in the hospital in September which revealed missing funds, according to sources.

Inspector of Police Eulade Gakwaya, the acting spokesperson of Police in the Southern Province, confirmed the arrests, saying the duo was apprehended on September 30 and was being held at Ngoma Police Station in Huye District.

Police compiled a dossier and submitted it to the prosecution but investigations are still ongoing.

In Kigali, a minimum of 16 people are set to benefit from free heart operations at King Faisal Hospital Kigali.

The operations that began on Monday, are conducted by Healing Hearts North West from Spoken Washington and will end tomorrow.

Briefing journalists in Kigali on Monday, Dr Hal Goldberg, a cardiologist who is leading the team of surgeons, said the objective is to enable people mostly living with rheumatic heart diseases in Rwanda to undergo successful heart operations.

Goldberg said most patients who have rheumatic heart diseases, if operated upon, can regain their activity and become productive before pointing out that poverty, streptococcal infections among the leading causes of rheumatic heart disease in developing countries.

The group of 47 experts is on the fifth visit to Rwanda with over 50 successful heart operations already carried out in the country.

Meanwhile, study developments around the world have warned that a third of all men currently under the age of 20 in China will eventually die prematurely if they do not give up smoking.

Research, published in The Lancet medical journal, says two-thirds of men in China now start to smoke before 20 and about half of those men will die from the habit, it concludes. The scientists conducted two nationwide studies, 15 years apart, covering hundreds of thousands of people. In 2010, around one million people in China died from tobacco usage. But researchers say that if current trends continue, that will double to two million people dying every year by 2030.


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