Availability, accessibility and utilization of post-abortion care in Sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review

Population Dynamics and Urbanization in Africa

  • January 2020
  • Journal Articles

At the 1994 ICPD, sub-Saharan African (SSA) states pledged, inter alia, to guarantee quality post-abortion care (PAC) services. We synthesized existing research on PAC services provision, utilization and access in SSA since the 1994 ICPD. Generally, evidence on PAC is only available in a few countries in the sub-region. The available evidence, however, suggests that PAC constitutes a significant financial burden on public health systems in SSA; that accessibility, utilization, and availability of PAC services have expanded during the period; and that worrying inequities characterize PAC services. Manual and electrical vacuum aspiration and medication abortion drugs are increasingly common PAC methods in SSA, but poor-quality treatment methods persist in many contexts. Complex socio-economic, infrastructural, cultural and political factors mediate the availability, accessibility, and utilization of PAC services in SSA. Interventions that have been implemented to improve different aspects of PAC in the sub-region have had variable levels of success. Underexplored themes in the existing literature include the individual and household level costs of PAC; the quality of PAC services; the provision of non-abortion reproductive health services in the context of PAC; and health care provider-community partnerships.



Associate Research Scientist

Frederick Murunga Wekesah

Frederick Murunga Wekesah is an epidemiologist and a researcher. He…

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