By Meclina Chirwa
Stakeholders in the health sector have expressed great concern that high teenage pregnancy rate which was on 26% in 2015 and 29% this year, has led to an increase in maternal mortality rate.
The stakeholders have also observed an increase in reported cases of sexual violence in the country.
A report by the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey indicate that in the 7 years before 2015-2016 Malawi registered an estimated figure of 439 maternal mortality ratio per 100 thousand live births.
The Center for Reproductive Health Research indicate that low uptake of contraceptives among adolescents has raised the rate of unplanned pregnancies in Malawi.
It also shows that 126 in every 1000 women and girls aged between 15 and 49 had unintended pregnancy in the year 2015.
Because of this and Malawi's restrictive abortion laws, women and girls now turn to procuring unsafe abortion which puts their lives in danger.
Chairperson of the parliamentary health committee, Dr Matthews Ngwale told Timveni that there is need to evaluate the abortion law especially when the life of the mother is in danger according to section 243 of the penal code.
Abortion is illegal in Malawi except in circumstances where the life of the mother is in danger.