HD-Background Selector

2015 In Article

BACKGROUND: Complications due to unsafe abortion cause high maternal morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries. This study describes post-abortion complication severity and associated factors in Kenya. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 326 health facilities was included in the survey. All regional and national referral hospitals and a random sample of lower level facilities were selected. Data were collected from 2,625 women presenting with abortion complications. A complication severity indicator was developed as the main outcome variable for this paper and described by women's socio-demographic characteristics and other variables. Ordered logistic regression models were used for multivariable analyses. RESULTS: Over three quarters of abortions clients presented with moderate or severe complications. About 65 % of abortion complications were managed by manual or electronic vacuum aspiration, 8% by dilation and curettage, 8% misoprostol and 19% by forceps and fingers. The odds of having moderate or severe complications for mistimed pregnancies were 43% higher than for wanted pregnancies (OR, 1.43; CI 1.01-2.03). For those who never wanted any more children the odds for having a severe complication was 2 times (CI 1.36-3.01) higher compared to those who wanted the pregnancy then. Women who reported inducing the abortion had 2.4 times higher odds of having a severe complication compared to those who reported that it was spontaneous (OR, 2.39; CI 1.72-3.34). Women who had a delay of more than 6 hours to get to a health facility had at least 2 times higher odds of having a moderate/severe complication compared to those who sought care within 6 hours from onset of complications. A delay of 7-48 hours was associated with OR, 2.12 (CI 1.42-3.17); a delay of 3-7 days OR, 2.01 (CI 1.34-2.99) and a delay of more than 7 days, OR 2.35 (CI 1.45-3.79). CONCLUSION: Moderate and severe post-abortion complications are common in Kenya and a sizeable proportion of these are not properly managed. Factors such as delay in seeking care, interference with pregnancy, and unwanted pregnancies are important determinants of complication severity and fortunately these are amenable to targeted interventions.

2010 In Article

Despite the availability of safe and highly effective methods of abortion, unsafe abortions continue to be widespread, nearly all in developing countries. The latest estimates from the World Health Organization put the figure at 21.6 million unsafe abortions worldwide in 2008, up from 19.7 million in 2003, a rise due almost entirely to the increasing number of women of reproductive age globally. No substantial decline was found in the unsafe abortion rate globally or by major region; the unsafe abortion rate of 14 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years globally remained the same from 2003 to 2008. Modest reductions in unsafe abortion rates were found in 2008 as compared to 2003 in most sub-regions, however. The upward changes in rates in Middle Africa, Western Asia and Central America were due to better coverage and more reliable information in 2008 than in 2003. Eastern and Middle Africa showed the highest rates of unsafe abortion among all sub-regions. Some 47,000 women per year are estimated to lose their lives from the complications of unsafe abortion, almost all of which could have been prevented through better access to sexuality education, fertility awareness, contraception and especially safe abortion services.

2013 In Article

"Botswana's national healthcare system has experienced substantial investment as a result of a growing economy and stable government, and improvements in quality and access are Notable. Despite these advances, women's reproductive health continues to suffer as a result of unsafe abortion. The personal, financial, and health costs of women seeking dangerous illegal terminations, or crossing national borders to procure a legal abortion, are evident. Twenty-one in-depth, qualitative interviews with Batswana were conducted to gain some insight into the factors which make terminating an unwanted pregnancy difficult in Botswana. This small study demonstrates that there are important socio-cultural constraints, in addition to the legal barriers, that make abortion problematic. These constraints are entrenched in the wider Issue of women's rights and status in society. "

2013 In Review

The complications of unsafe, illegal abortions are a significant cause of maternal mortality in Botswana. The stigma attached to abortion leads some women to seek clandestine procedures, or alternatively, to carry the fetus to term and abandon the infant at birth. I conducted research into perceptions of abortion in urban Botswana in order to understand the social and cultural obstacles to women's reproductive autonomy, focusing particularly on attitudes to terminating a pregnancy. I carried out 21 interviews with female and male urban adult Batswana. This article constitutes a review of the abortion Issue in Botswana based on my research. Restrictive laws must eventually be abolished to allow women access to safe, timely abortions. My findings however, suggest that socio-cultural factors, Not punitive laws, present the greatest barriers to women seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. These factors must be addressed so that effective local solutions to unsafe abortion can be generated.

2007 In Article

Over 99% of deaths due to abortion occur in developing countries. Maternal deaths due to abortion are preventable. Increasing the use of misoprostol for elective abortion could have a Notable impact on maternal mortality due to abortion. As a test of this hypothesis/Dissertation, this study estimated the reduction in maternal deaths due to abortion in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The estimates were adjusted to changes in assumptions, yielding different possible scenarios of low and high estimates. This simple modeling exercise demonstrated that increased use of misoprostol, an option for pregnancy termination already available to many women in developing countries, could significantly reduce mortality due to abortion. Empirical testing of the hypothesis/Dissertation with data collected from developing countries could help to inform and improve the use of misoprostol in those settings.

2014 In Article

"OBJECTIVE: To summarise individual and institutional characteristics of abortion-related severe maternal outcomes reported at health facilities. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of data from the WHO Multi-country Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health. SETTING:85 health facilities in 23 countries. SAMPLE:322 women with abortion-related severe maternal outcomes. METHODS: Frequency distributions and comparisons of differences in characteristics between cases of maternal near miss and death using Fisher's exact tests of association. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Individual and institutional characteristics and frequencies of potentially life-threatening conditions, and interventions provided to women with severe maternal outcomes, maternal near miss, and maternal death. RESULTS: Most women with abortion-related severe maternal outcomes (SMOs) were 20-34 years old (65.2%), married or cohabitating (92.3%), parous (84.2%), and presented with abortions resulting from pregnancies at less than 14 weeks of gestation (67.1%). The women who died were younger, more frequently without a partner, and had abortions at ≥14 weeks of gestation, compared with women with maternal near miss (MNM). Curettage was the most common mode of uterine evacuation. The provision of blood products and therapeutic antibiotics were the most common other interventions recorded for all women with abortion-related SMOs; those who died more frequently had antibiotics, laparotomy, and hysterectomy, compared with women with MNM. Although haemorrhage was the most common cause of abortion-related SMO, infection (alone and in combination with haemorrhage) was the most common cause of death. CONCLUSION: This analysis affirms a number of previously observed characteristics of women with abortion-related severe morbidity and mortality, despite the fact that facility-based data on abortion-related SMO suffers a number of limitations."

2012 In Article

The outcomes of an intervention aimed at improving the quality of post-abortion care provided by private medical practitioners in 8 states in Northern Nigeria are reported. A total of 458 private medical doctors and 839 nurses and midwives were trained to offer high-quality post-abortion care, post-abortion family planning, and integrated sexually transmitted infection/HIV care. Results showed that among the 17009 women treated over 10 years, there was Not a single case of maternal death. In a detailed analysis of 2559 women treated during a 15-month period after the intervention was established, only 33 women experienced mild complications, while None suffered major complications of abortion care. At the same time, there was a reduction in treatment cost and a doubling of the contraceptive uptake by the women. Building the capacity of private medical providers can reduce maternal morbidity and mortality associated with induced abortion in Northern Nigeria.

2011 In Article

"BACKGROUND: The 1990-2008 estimates for the maternal mortality associated with unsafe abortion require a re-examination. OBJECTIVE: To provide the latest estimates of the mortality associated with unsafe abortion and to examine trends within the framework of new maternal mortality estimates. SEARCH STRATEGY: Extensive search of databases and websites for country- and region-specific data on unsafe abortion. SELECTION CRITERIA: Reports, papers, and websites with data on unsafe abortion incidence and mortality. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Earlier published estimates for the unsafe-abortion-related mortality were recalculated by country for 1990, 1997, 2000, and 2003 to harmonize with the new maternal mortality estimates. The resulting estimates were aggregated to give sub-regional, regional, and global figures, including those recently estimated for 2008. MAIN RESULTS: In 2008, unsafe abortions accounted for an estimated 47000 maternal deaths, down from 69000 in 1990. Globally, the unsafe-abortion mortality ratio has declined from 50 in 1990 to 30 in 2008. The overall burden of unsafe abortion mortality continues to be the highest in Africa. CONCLUSIONS: Important gains have been made in reducing maternal deaths attributable to unsafe abortion. However, 1 in 8 maternal deaths globally and 1 in 5 maternal deaths in Eastern Africa continue to be attributable to unsafe abortion. Averting these preventable deaths can contribute to achieving Millennium Development Goal number 5 of improving maternal health."

2013 In Article

Complications of an unsafe abortion are a major contributor to maternal deaths and morbidity in Africa. When abortions are performed in safe environments, such complications are almost all preventable. This paper reports results from a nationally representative health facility study conducted in Ethiopia in 2008. The safe abortion care (SAC) model, a monitoring approach to assess the amount, distribution, use and quality of abortion services, provided a framework. Data collection included key informant interviews with 335 health care providers, prospective data on 8911 women seeking treatment for abortion complications or induced abortion and review of facility logbooks. Although the existing hospitals perform most basic abortion care functions, the number of facilities providing basic and comprehensive abortion care for the population size fell far short of the recommended levels. Almost one-half (48%) of women treated for obstetric complications in the facilities had abortion complications. The use of appropriate abortion technologies in the first trimester and the provision of post-abortion contraception overall were reasonably strong, especially in private sector facilities. Following abortion law reform in 2005 and subsequent service expansion and improvements, Ethiopia remains committed to reducing complications from an unsafe abortion. This study provides the first national snapshot to measure changes in a dynamic abortion care environment.

2015 In Article

Little is known about maternal near-miss (MNM) due to unsafe abortion in Nigeria. We used the WHO criteria to identify near-miss events and the proportion due to unsafe abortion among women of childbearing age in eight large secondary and tertiary hospitals across the six geo-political zones. We also explored the characteristics of women with these events, delays in seeking care and the short-term socioeconomic and health impacts on women and their families. Between July 2011 and January 2012, 137 MNM cases were identified of which 13 or 9.5% were due to unsafe abortions. Severe bleeding, pain and fever were the most common immediate abortion complications. On average, treatment of MNM due to abortion costs six times more than induced abortion procedures. Unsafe abortion and delays in care seeking are important contributors to MNM. Programs to prevent unsafe abortion and delays in seeking post-abortion care are urgently needed to reduce abortion related MNM in Nigeria.