Complications of unsafe abortion in sub-Saharan Africa: a review.
The Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat undertook a study in 1994 to document the magnitude of abortion complications in Commonwealth member countries. The results of the literature review component of that study, and research gaps identified as a result of the review, are presented in this article. The literature review findings indicate a significant public health problem in the region, as measured by a high proportion of incomplete abortion patients among all hospital gynaecology admissions. The most common complications of unsafe abortion seen at health facilities were haemorrhage and sepsis. Studies on the use of manual vacuum aspiration for treating abortion complications found shorter lengths of hospital stay (and thus, lower resource costs) and a reduced need for a repeat evacuation. Very few articles focused exclusively on the cost of treating abortion complications, but authors agreed that it consumes a disproportionate amount of hospital resources. Studies on the role of men in supporting a woman's decision to abort or use contraception were similarly lacking. Articles on contraceptive behaviour and abortion reported that almost all patients suffering from abortion complications had not used an effective, or any, method of contraception prior to becoming pregnant, especially among the adolescent population; studies on post-abortion contraception are virtually nonexistent. Almost all articles on the legal aspect of abortion recommended law reform to reflect a public health, rather than a criminal, orientation. Research needs that were identified include: community-based epidemiological studies; operations research on decentralization of post-abortion care and integration of treatment with post-abortion family planning services; studies on system-wide resource use for treatment of incomplete abortion; qualitative research on the role of males in the decision to terminate pregnancy and use contraception; clinical studies on pain control medications and procedures; and case studies on the provision of safe abortion services where legally allowed.
Abortion, Induced--complications . Action Research . Africa . Africa South Of The Sahara . Developing Countries . Economic Factors . Family Planning . Fertility Control, Postconception . Literature Review . Needs . Research Methodology.
- DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapol/11.2.117
- Oxford University Press : 저널> 권호 > http://heapol.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/2/117.abstract
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