Pretoria – Efforts to get rid of bogus doctors and illegal abortions within the eThekwini Municipality has started to bear fruit, with 10 so-called doctors being arrested for practicing backstreet abortions.
The arrests follow a training programme facilitated by the municipality earlier this year for both Metro Police and the SAPS on tactics to follow in arresting bogus doctors.
In March this year, the municipality kicked off a programme aimed at ensuring that more educational programmes were made available for young women, especially when it comes to making choices about their bodies and reproductive health.
The programme, which included the removal of misleading posters and pamphlets on pregnancy and termination throughout the city, ensured the establishment of a task team to monitor progress and raise community awareness of bogus doctors conducting unsafe abortions.
Among the doctors arrested during a police raid were mainly foreign nationals, including two Congolese nationals and a Ugandan national, who are believed to be part of a wider syndicate of illegal abortion practitioners.
Deputy City Manager of Health and Social Services, Dr Musa Gumede, said the arrests were a crucial move in the right path for the municipality, as there has been an intensive bid to pounce on the perpetrators of the illegal practice.
Gumede appealed to the public to continue working with the municipality and to report illegal doctors and any advertising or carrying out of the practice that they see and know of.
“Hopefully the municipality, together with SAPS, will still have more raids and this will help us to reduce the number of these illegal doctors,” Gumede said.
He also urged young women who choose the abortion route to ensure that they go to government hospitals in order to have the service done legally and not to put their lives at risk.
The problem of bogus doctors’ posters is widespread in the Durban Central Business District and other places including Pinetown, Isipingo, Verulam and Tongaat.
Head of the Inner eThekwini Regeneration and Urban Management Programme, Hoosen Moolla, commended the work of the designated task team, made up of SAPS, Metro Police and City officials.
“The raid saw the task team seize a number of items from the abortion premises, including certain traditional medicines and drugs used to carry out the dangerous practice. We just hope that the arrests will lead to positive convictions and we are pleased with the results as this means saving more lives,” said Moolla. – BuaNews