HD-Background Selector

2010 In Article

Little research in low-income countries has compared the social and cultural ramifications of loss in childbearing, yet the social experience of pregnancy loss and early neonatal death may affect demographers' ability to measure their incidence. Ninety-five qualitative reproductive narratives were collected from 50 women in rural southern Tanzania who had recently suffered infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or early neonatal death. An additional 31 interviews with new mothers and female elders were used to assess childbearing Norms and social consequences of loss in childbearing. We found that like pregnancy, stillbirth and early neonatal death are hidden because they heighten women's vulnerability to social and physical harm, and women's discourse and behaviors are under strong social control. To protect themselves from sorcery, spiritual interference, and gossip--as well as stigma should a spontaneous loss be viewed as an induced abortion--women conceal pregnancies and are advised Not to mourn or grieve for "immature" (late-term) losses. Twelve of 30 respondents with pregnancy losses had been accused of inducing an abortion; 3 of these had been subsequently divorced. Incommensurability between Western biomedical and local categories of reproductive loss also complicates measurement of losses. Similar gender inequalities and understandings of pregnancy and reproductive loss in other low-resource settings likely result in underreporting of these losses elsewhere. Cultural, terminological, and methodological factors that contribute to inaccurate measurement of stillbirth and early neonatal death must be considered in designing surveys and other research methods to measure pregnancy, stillbirth, and other sensitive reproductive events.

2016 In Article

"BACKGROUND: Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of death among young women aged 10-24 years in sub-Saharan Africa. Although having multiple induced abortions may exacerbate the risk for poor health outcomes, there has been minimal research on young women in this region who have multiple induced abortions. The objective of this study was therefore to assess the prevalence and correlates of reporting a previous induced abortion among young females aged 12-24 years seeking abortion-related care in Kenya. METHODS: We used data on 1,378 young women aged 12-24 years who presented for abortion-related care in 246 health facilities in a nationwide survey conducted in 2012. Socio-demographic characteristics, reproductive and clinical histories, and physical examination assessment data were collected from women during a one-month data collection period using an abortion case capture form. RESULTS: Nine percent (n = 98) of young women reported a previous induced abortion prior to the index pregnancy for which they were receiving care. Statistically significant differences by previous history of induced abortion were observed for area of residence, religion and occupation at bivariate level. Urban dwellers and unemployed/other young women were more likely to report a previous induced abortion. A greater proportion of young women reporting a previous induced abortion stated that they were using a contraceptive method at the time of the index pregnancy (47 %) compared with those reporting No previous induced abortion (23 %). Not surprisingly, a greater proportion of young women reporting a previous induced abortion (82 %) reported their index pregnancy as unintended (Not wanted at all or mistimed) compared with women reporting No previous induced abortion (64 %). CONCLUSIONS: Our study results show that about one in every ten young women seeking abortion-related care in Kenya reports a previous induced abortion. Comprehensive post-abortion care services targeting young women are needed. In particular, post-abortion care service providers must ensure that young clients receive contraceptive counseling and effective pregnancy prevention methods before discharge from the health care facility to prevent unintended pregnancies that may result in subsequent induced abortions."

2014 In Article

Over the last few decades, total fertility rates, child morbidity, and child mortality rates have declined in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Among the most striking trends observed are the rapid rate of urbanization and the often remarkably large gaps in fertility between rural and urban areas. Although a large literature has highlighted the importance of migration and urbanization within countries’ demographic transitions, relatively little is known regarding the impact of migration on migrants’ reproductive health outcomes in general and abortion in particular. In this article, we use detailed pregnancy and migration histories collected as part of the Household and Welfare Study of Accra (HAWS) to examine the association between migration and pregnancy outcomes among women residing in the urban slums of Accra, Ghana. We find that the completed fertility patterns of lifetime Accra residents are remarkably similar to those of residents who migrated. Our results suggest that recent migrants have an increased risk of pregnancy but not an increased risk of live birth in the first years post-move compared with those who had never moved. This gap seems to be largely explained by an increased risk of miscarriage or abortion among recent migrants. Increasing access to contraceptives for recent migrants has the potential to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies, lower the prevalence of unsafe abortion, and contribute to improved maternal health outcomes. © 2014, Population Association of America.

BACKGROUND: Unsafe abortions are a serious public health problem and a major human rights Issue. In low-income countries, where restrictive abortion laws are common, safe abortion care is not always available to women in need. Health care providers have an important role in the provision of abortion services. However, the shortage of health care providers in low-income countries is critical and exacerbated by the unwillingness of some health care providers to provide abortion services. The aim of this study was to identify, summarise and synthesis/Dissertation available research addressing health care providers' perceptions of and attitudes towards induced abortions in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. METHODS: A systematic literature search of three databases was conducted in November 2014, as well as a manual search of reference lists. The selection criteria included quantitative and qualitative research studies written in English, regardless of the year of publication, exploring health care providers' perceptions of and attitudes towards induced abortions in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The quality of all articles that met the inclusion criteria was assessed. The studies were critically appraised, and thematic analysis was used to synthesis/Dissertatione the data. RESULTS: Thirty-six studies, published during 1977 and 2014, including data from 15 different countries, met the inclusion criteria. Nine key themes were identified as influencing the health care providers' attitudes towards induced abortions: 1) human rights, 2) gender, 3) religion, 4) access, 5) unpreparedness, 6) quality of life, 7) ambivalence 8) quality of care and 9) stigma and victimisation. CONCLUSION: Health care providers in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia have moral-, social- and gender-based reservations about induced abortion. These reservations influence attitudes towards induced abortions and subsequently affect the relationship between the health care provider and the pregnant woman who wishes to have an abortion. A values clarification exercise among abortion care providers is needed.

BACKGROUND: This study explored the reasons for variation in hospital maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between studies from sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted to identify hospital-based studies which reported the prevalence of maternal mortality. An overall MMR from all the hospital-based studies was calculated using a metaanalysis. Potential sources of heterogeneity in the MMR between studies were identified using metaregression techniques. RESULTS: We identified 4243 studies, of which 64 were eligible for inclusion in the metaanalysis. The pooled hospital MMR for sub-Saharan Africa was 957 per 100 000 live births, although there was strong evidence for between-study heterogeneity. Regional estimates varied from 294 per 100 000 live births in Southern Africa to 1338 in Western Africa. Overall, throughout the region, the percentage of skilled birth attendance and type of hospital accounted for 44% of the total variation of the hospital MMR between studies. CONCLUSIONS: This paper highlights the need to improve the organisation of health systems and the quality of care that is being offered in health facilities to pregnant women in Africa; and emphasizes the importance of increasing the percentage of skilled birth attendance in the region. In order to achieve the Millennium development goal (MDG) and reduce maternal mortality in the region, particularly in Western Africa, new and stronger approaches are needed.

2009 In Article

To explore the policy implications of increasing access to safe abortion in Nigeria and Ghana, we developed a computer-based decision analytic model which simulates induced abortion and its potential complications in a cohort of women, and comparatively assessed the cost-effectiveness of unsafe abortion and three first-trimester abortion modalities: hospital-based dilatation and curettage, hospital- and clinic-based manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), and medical abortion using misoprostol (MA). Assuming all modalities are equally available, clinic-based MVA is the most cost-effective option in Nigeria. If clinic-based MVA is Not available, MA is the next best strategy. Conversely, in Ghana, MA is the most cost-effective strategy, followed by clinic-based MVA if MA is Not available. From a real world policy perspective, increasing access to safe abortion in favor over unsafe abortion is the single most important factor in saving lives and societal costs, and is more influential than the actual choice of safe abortion modality.

2012 In Article

Lack of access to quality reproductive health services is the main contributor to the high maternal mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This is partly due to a shortage of qualified and experienced health care providers. However conscientious objection amongst the available few is a hitherto undocumented potential factor influencing access to health care in SSA. Provision of certain reproductive health services goes counter to some individual's religious and moral beliefs and practices. Health providers sometimes refuse to participate in or provide such services to clients/patients on moral and/or religious grounds. While the rights to do so are protected by the principles of freedom of religion, among other documents, their refusal exposes clients/patients to the risk of reproductive health morbidity as well as mortality. Such providers are required to refer the clients/patients to other equally qualified and experienced providers who do not hold similar conscientious objection. Access to high quality and evidence-based reproductive health services by all in need is critical to attaining MDG5. In addressing factors contributing to delay in attaining MDG5 in SSA it is instructive to consider the role of conscientious objection in influencing access to quality reproductive health care services and strategies to address it.

2011 In Article
Based on available evidence, this review article posits that contemporary use of abortion in sub-Saharan Africa often substitutes for and sometimes surpasses modern contraceptive practice. Some studies and some data sets indicate that this occurs Not only among adolescents but also within older age groups. In several sub-Saharan cities, particularly where contraceptive use is low and access to clinical abortion is high (though largely illegal), abortion appears to be the method of choice for limiting or spacing births. Even in rural areas, women may regularly resort to abortion, often using extremely unsafe procedures, instead of contraception. Available data seem to indicate that relatively high levels of abortion correlate with low access to modern contraception, low status of women, strong sanctions against out-of-wedlock pregnancy, traditional tolerance of abortion, and availability of modern abortion practices. Abortion has been and will likely continue to be used to plan families within much of sub-Saharan Africa.
2005 In Article
BACKGROUND: Despite having one of the most liberal abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa, complications from induced abortion are the second leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana. STUDY DESIGN: The sample is composed of patients with pregnancy termination complications in Ghana between June and July 2008. The majority of patients report having had a spontaneous abortion (75%; n=439), while 17% (n=100) and 8% (n=46) report having had an induced abortion or an ectopic pregnancy, respectively. Factors associated with women in each of the three groups were explored using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: When compared to women with spontaneous abortions, women with induced abortions were younger, poorer, more likely to report No religious affiliation, less likely to be married, more likely to report making the household decisions and more likely to fail to disclose this pregnancy to their partners. Within the induced abortion subsample, failure to disclose the most recent pregnancy was associated with already having children and autonomous household decision making. CONCLUSION: Identifying the individual and relationship characteristics of induced abortion patients is the first step toward targeted policies and programs aimed at reducing unsafe abortion in Ghana.