HD-Background Selector

2010 In Article

OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of a national intervention to improve the post-abortion care (PAC) content of midwifery education in Nigeria. METHODS: A 3-part quantitative assessment was carried out during and post-intervention. The first baseline component developed and examined the intervention to improve teaching capacity and improve the PAC curriculum among 6 midwifery schools that were to become regional training centers. The second survey was a pre- and post-assessment conducted among midwifery instructors from all schools of midwifery in the country. In the third component, 149 midwives graduating from the 6 regional midwifery schools were interviewed once 3-9 months after graduation to evaluate whether the intervention had improved their knowledge of PAC and clinical practice, and the likelihood that they would provide PAC after graduation.

2016 In Article

Contraception is an essential element of high-quality abortion care. However, women seeking abortion often leave health facilities without receiving contraceptive counselling or methods, increasing their risk of unintended pregnancy. This paper describes contraceptive uptake in 319,385 women seeking abortion in 2326 public-sector health facilities in eight African and Asian countries from 2011 to 2013. Ministries of Health integrated contraceptive and abortion services, with technical assistance from Ipas, an international non-governmental organisation. Interventions included updating national guidelines, upgrading facilities, supplying contraceptive methods, and training providers. We conducted unadjusted and adjusted associations between facility level, client age, and gestational age and receipt of contraception at the time of abortion. Overall, post-abortion contraceptive uptake was 73%. Factors contributing to uptake included care at a primary-level facility, having an induced abortion, first-trimester gestation, age ≥25, and use of vacuum aspiration for uterine evacuation. Uptake of long-acting, reversible contraception was low in most countries. These findings demonstrate high contraceptive uptake when it is delivered at the time of the abortion, a wide range of contraceptive commodities is available, and ongoing monitoring of services occurs. Improving availability of long-acting contraception, strengthening services in hospitals, and increasing access for young women are areas for improvement.

2011 In Review

Forty per cent of the world's women are living in countries with restrictive abortion laws, which prohibit abortion or only allow abortion to protect a woman's life or her physical or mental health. In countries where abortion is restricted, women have to resort to clandestine interventions to have an unwanted pregnancy terminated. As a consequence, high rates of unsafe abortion are seen, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa where unsafe abortion occurs at rates of 18-39 per 1 000 women. The circumstances under which women obtain unsafe abortion vary and depend on traditional methods known and types of providers present. Health professionals are prone to use instrumental procedures to induce the abortion, whereas traditional providers often make a brew of herbs to be drunk in one or more doses. In countries with restrictive abortion laws, high rates of maternal death must be expected, and globally an estimated 66,500 women die every year as a result of unsafe abortions. In addition, a far larger number of women experience short- and long-term health consequences. To address the harmful health consequences of unsafe abortion, a post-abortion care model has been developed and implemented with success in many countries where women do not have legal access to abortion. post-abortion care focuses on treatment of incomplete abortion and provision of post-abortion contraceptive services. To enhance women's access to post-abortion care, focus is increasingly being placed on upgrading midlevel providers to provide emergency treatment as well as implementing misoprostol as a treatment strategy for complications after unsafe abortion.

2009 In Article

Unsafe abortion in Sudan results in significant morbidity and mortality. This study of treatment for complications of unsafe abortion in five hospitals in Khartoum, Sudan, included a review of hospital records and a survey of 726 patients seeking abortion-related care from 27 October 2007 to 31 January 2008, an interview of a provider of post-abortion care and focus group discussions with community leaders. Findings demonstrate enormous unmet need for safe abortion services. Abortion is legally restricted in Sudan to circumstances where the woman's life is at risk or in cases of rape. Post-abortion care is Not easily accessible. In a country struggling with poverty, internal displacement, rural dwelling, and a dearth of trained doctors, mid-level providers are Not allowed to provide post-abortion care or prescribe contraception. The vast majority of the 726 abortion patients in the five hospitals were treated with dilatation and curettage (D&C), and only 12.3% were discharged with a contraceptive method. Some women waited long hours before treatment was provided; 14.5% of them had to wait for 5-8 hours and 7.3% for 9-12 hours. Mid-level providers should be trained in safe abortion care and post-abortion care to make these services accessible to a wider community in Sudan. Guidelines should be developed on quality of care and should mandate the use of manual vacuum aspiration or misoprostol for medical abortion instead of D&C.

2008 In Article

BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to compare the safety, effectiveness and acceptability of 400 mcg sublingual misoprostol and 600 mcg oral misoprostol for treatment of incomplete abortion. STUDY DESIGN: We used an open-label randomized controlled trial conducted from July 2005 to August 2006 in a large tertiary level maternity hospital in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and a large tertiary level hospital in Chisinau, Moldova. Three hundred consenting women seeking treatment for clinically diagnosed incomplete abortion with uterine size ≤12 weeks since last menstrual period were randomized to misoprostol either 600 mcg orally or 400 mcg sublingually. The primary outcome measure was the complete resolution of clinical signs and symptoms of incomplete abortion without need for surgical intervention. Women were seen for follow-up on Day 7 and, if necessary, on Day 14 to assess abortion status. The study was powered to detect a 7% difference in efficacy with a total of 142 women required in each arm. RESULTS: Efficacy rates were 94.6% and 94.5%, for the oral and sublingual routes, respectively (RR: 1.00, 95% CI=0.95–1.06, p=.98). At 1 week follow-up, more than 80% of women had completed abortions (77.8% oral and 84.8% sublingual, p=.12). Mean pain scores were 2.95 and 3.04, respectively, for the oral and sublingual groups. Side effects included abdominal pain, bleeding, headaches and dizziness/weakness with no differences reported between the two groups. Acceptability and satisfaction were high for both routes and women indicated a preference for medical versus surgical treatment if ever needed in the future. CONCLUSION: Both treatment regimens were very effective. Four hundred micrograms of sublingual misoprostol and 600 mcg oral misoprostol appear to have similar safety and effectiveness profiles when used for the treatment of incomplete abortion. A lower 400-mcg misoprostol dose may provide an alternative treatment option as well as have potential benefits in terms of cost.

2015 In Article

OBJECTIVE: To assess the severity of abortion complications in Malawi and to determine associated risk factors. METHODS: Between July 20 and September 13, 2009, a cross-sectional survey was conducted at 166 facilities providing post-abortion care services. Data were collected for all women with an incomplete, inevitable, missed, complete, or septic abortion. Weighted percentages were calculated to obtain national estimates. RESULTS: In total, 2067 women met the inclusion criteria. Estimates suggest that 80.9% of women who presented for post-abortion care in Malawi in 2009 were married and 64.8% were from rural areas. One-quarter (27.4%) presented with severe or moderate morbidity. Sepsis (13.7%), retained products of conception (12.7%), and fever (12.3%) were the most common complications. The case fatality rate was 387 deaths per 100 000 post-abortion care procedures. Women with severe or moderate complications were significantly more likely to be from rural areas than from urban areas; to have reported interfering with their pregnancy; and to be separated, divorced, or widowed than to be single. CONCLUSION: In 2009, many women seeking post-abortion care in Malawi presented with complications. Advocacy is needed to influence policies that will allow expanded access to safe abortion services for women of all ages and in all areas.

2014 In Article

This article presents estimates based on the research conducted in 2010 of the cost to the Ugandan health system of providing post-abortion care (PAC), filling a gap in knowledge of the cost of unsafe abortion. Thirty-nine public and private health facilities were sampled representing three levels of health care, and data were collected on drugs, supplies, material, personnel time and out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, direct Non-medical costs in the form of overhead and capital costs were also measured. Our results show that the average annual PAC cost per client, across five types of abortion complications, was $131. The total cost of PAC nationally, including direct Non-medical costs, was estimated to be $13.9 million per year. Satisfying all demand for PAC would raise the national cost to $20.8 million per year. This shows that PAC consumes a substantial portion of the total expenditure in reproductive health in Uganda. Investing more resources in family planning programmes to prevent unwanted and mistimed pregnancies would help reduce health systems costs.

2014 In Article

Based on research conducted in 2012, we estimate the cost to the Rwandan health-care system of providing post-abortion care (PAC) due to unsafe abortions, a subject of policy importance not studied before at the national level. Thirty-nine public and private health facilities representing three levels of health care were randomly selected for data collection from key care providers and administrators for all five regions. Using an ingredients approach to costing, data were gathered on drugs, supplies, material, personnel time and hospitalization. Additionally, direct non-medical costs such as overhead and capital costs were also measured. We found that the average annual PAC cost per client, across five types of abortion complications, was $93. The total cost of PAC nationally was estimated to be $1.7 million per year, 49% of which was expended on direct non-medical costs. Satisfying all demands for PAC would raise the national cost to $2.5 million per year. PAC comprises a significant share of total expenditure in reproductive health in Rwanda. Investing more resources in provision of contraceptive services to prevent unwanted or mistimed pregnancies would likely reduce health systems costs.

2012 In Article

To address the knowledge gap that exists in costing unsafe abortion in Ethiopia, estimates were derived of the cost to the health system of providing post-abortion care (PAC), based on research conducted in 2008. Fourteen public and private health facilities were selected, representing 3 levels of health care. Cost information on drugs, supplies, material, personnel time, and out-of-pocket expenses was collected using an ingredients approach. Sensitivity analysis was used to determine the most likely range of costs. The average direct cost per client, across 5 types of abortion complications, was US $36.21. The annual direct cost nationally ranged from US $6.5 to US $8.9 million. Including indirect costs and satisfying all demand increased the annual national cost to US $47 million. PAC consumes a large portion of the total expenditure in reproductive health in Ethiopia. Investing more resources in family planning programs to prevent unwanted pregnancies would be cost-beneficial to the health system.

2016 In Article

Over the last five years, comprehensive national surveys of the cost of post-abortion care (PAC) to national health systems have been undertaken in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Colombia using a specially developed costing methodology—the Post-abortion Care Costing Methodology (PACCM). The objective of this study is to expand the research findings of these four studies, making use of their extensive datasets. These studies offer the most complete and consistent estimates of the cost of PAC to date, and comparing their findings not only provides generalizable implications for health policies and programs, but also allows an assessment of the PACCM methodology. We find that the labor cost component varies widely: in Ethiopia and Colombia doctors spend about 30–60% more time with PAC patients than do nurses; in Uganda and Rwanda an opposite pattern is found. Labor costs range from I$42.80 in Uganda to I$301.30 in Colombia. The cost of drugs and supplies does not vary greatly, ranging from I$79 in Colombia to I$115 in Rwanda. Capital and overhead costs are substantial amounting to 52–68% of total PAC costs. Total costs per PAC case vary from I$334 in Rwanda to I$972 in Colombia. The financial burden of PAC is considerable: the expense of treating each PAC case is equivalent to around 35% of annual per capita income in Uganda, 29% in Rwanda and 11% in Colombia. Providing modern methods of contraception to women with an unmet need would cost just a fraction of the average expenditure on PAC: one year of modern contraceptive services and supplies cost only 3–12% of the average cost of treating a PAC patient.