Unsafe abortion remains a major challenge in Zambia despite an existing abortion law that is considered liberal. The Ministry of Health considers unsafe abortion as one of the health problems currently ranked among the top five  causes of maternal deaths in the country.
There is sufficient evidence indicating that unsafe abortions occur across the country. According to the Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS 2018), unsafe abortions account for 7 % of all maternal deaths in the country. Although this reduction is a remarkable achievement from 30% in 2007 (ZDHS 2007), more still needs to be done to reduce the number of women and girls dying as a result of unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortions have numerous complications that include perforation to uterus and bowels, genital lacerations; heavy bleeding and infections, which in the long term may lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pains.
The Zambia Association of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians [ZAGO] has been implementing an advocacy project called, “The Zambia Prevention of Unsafe Abortion.” The aim of the project is to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality arising from unsafe abortions. Although, the project has reached many parts of the country, some areas still remain untouched. As a result, people in such areas do not have information and necessary awareness about the legality and availability of abortion services. This has been evidenced by number of unsafe abortions and teenage pregnancies in those areas.
For example, Eastern Province has continued to register record number of teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions cases. As recent as March 2022, the Province recorded 1,536 unsafe abortion cases, while 12,982 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the first quarter of 2021. According the records, 400 of these teenage pregnancies were girls below the age of 15, while the rest were between 15 and 19 years. Sadly, the Province recorded high number of child marriages: 39 percent of girls are married off either before or at the age of 18. This situation perpetuates a cycle of poverty as young girls are prevented from acquiring requisite education needed to contributing and benefiting from socio-economic development of the country.
It is from this context that ZAGO saw the need to provide awareness about the dangers of unsafe abortions, and also the need to share information about the legality of safe abortion service in the country.
Although, in September 2021, six  youths from four  districts in the province were oriented on Comprehensive Abortion Care [CAC] and Legal Framework on Termination of Pregnancy [ToP], the need to train more young people became even more necessary. On 29th and 30th November, 2022, a training on CAC and Legal Framework on ToP was held in Chipata city which saw 26 youths, majority of whom adolescent girls, trained. The trainees were drawn from across districts of the province: Nyimba, Petauke, Sinda, Katete, Lundazi, Vubwi, Chama, Mambwe, and Chipata. This was the first time ZAGO had taken to Eastern Province awareness campaign of this scale about unsafe abortion. Participants were then urged to spread the campaign in their respective communities. It is hoped that the knowledge and information shared with the participants would be put to good use in an effort to bring down cases of teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and subsequently maternal morbidity and mortality in the province.