SENEGAL – Knowledge and provision of misoprostol among pharmacy workers in Senegal: a cross-sectional study

Knowledge and availability of misoprostol in pharmacies in Senegal is low, posing potential challenges for delivery of post-abortion care and obstetric care. Training is required to address low levels of knowledge of misoprostol registration and uses among pharmacy workers.

UGANDA – Estimating abortion incidence among adolescents and differences in post-abortion care by age: a cross-sectional study of post-abortion care patients in Uganda

This paper provides the first estimate of the adolescent abortion rate in Uganda. Studies of adolescent abortion and reproductive health must account for sexual activity and marital status. Further, interventions to address unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion among unmarried women of all ages in Africa should be a priority.

GHANA – A debate on abortion has initiated in the Ghanaian parliament

Two members of the Ghanaian parliament, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye and Ms Zanetor Rawlings, have called for debate on the question of decriminalisation of abortion after data were reported publicly that show a high rate of unsafe abortions and deaths from complications in the country, as well as a growing number of unsafe abortions among teens and young women. Dr Okoe Boye, called for the decriminalisation of abortion in the country – not “an unrestricted, … Continued

MADAGASCAR: 28 SEPTEMBER REPORT – Nous pouvons éviter que des femmes meurent (We can prevent women dying)

In Madagascar, the Minister of Public Health announced that an estimated 75,000 abortions take place per year in the country, that there is one abortion per ten live births and based on data from East Africa, there are about 575 deaths from complications of unsafe abortion on the Madagascar mainland per year. Complications of unsafe abortion are the second highest cause of maternal deaths registered in the health system, after antenatal and post-partum haemorrhage. In a study at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Gynécologie-Obstétrique Befelatanana in 2012-13, there were 360 cases of complications of unsafe abortion, with a fatality rate of 4.16%. According to another study in this same hospital in 2011-12, the majority of those treated for complications were aged 15-24 years, with the age range being 15-43 years of age. 70% of cases were due to haemorrhage, and 30% due to sepsis. But these data do not reflect the reality outside of hospital clinics, where many women never seek treatment and die of post-abortion complications. These problems are all due to abortions being prohibited in the law, and take place clandestinely, using unsafe, often traditional methods.

ZIMBABWE – Misoprostol: essential medication for post-abortion care stock-outs

Health facilities that are meant to offer post-abortion care in Zimbabwe are experiencing shortages of misoprostol, an essential medication for providing this service. Research conducted by Prof Tsungai Chipato, from the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, in conjunction with the Guttmacher Institute, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Women’s Action Group, showed that 55% of health facilities had run out of misoprostol, 35% had … Continued

CONFERENCE REPORT – Decriminalisation of Abortion, Medical Abortion and Advocacy for Change

This is an informal report of a set of three workshops, facilitated by Marge Berer, that took place over three days with almost 10 hours of in-depth discussion and sharing of information and experience among the participants. This report was written by Marge Berer, International Campaign Coordinator, and is based on notes taken by Christina Boateng, Pauline Diaz and several other participants.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Complications from unsafe abortion in Kinshasa, DRC

A study using data from 2016 found that the majority of women in Kinshasa who seek post-abortion care following an unsafe abortion experience severe or moderate complications. In 2016, 37,900 women obtained treatment for complications from abortion in Kinshasa. Researchers found that women receiving post-abortion care were most commonly treated using outdated methods, such as D&C, that are not recommended by the World Health Organization. Overall, about a quarter of the 146,700 abortions that took … Continued

ANGOLA – Integrated health care programme for adolescents launched

Half of girls in Angola have already been pregnant by the age of 18, which restricts their education and opportunities, according to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ana Paula do Sacramento, during a national conference on sexual and reproductive health in adolescents, in August 2018. In Angola, 73% of the population is under the age of 30. The risk of maternal death from pregnancy complications in young girls under the age of 20 is … Continued

SWAZILAND – Global Gag Rule hits main SRHR service provider

The Family Life Association of Swaziland/Ewsatini, an IPPF member, has lost a quarter of its total funding under the US Global Gag Rule; 56 jobs have been lost (26 staff and 30 community workers). Begun in 1979, FLAS’s strategic focus was on contraception and family planning services. Since 1999, their focus was broadened to provide comprehensive SRHR and HIV services and information. More than half the population are younger than 20 years old; so their … Continued

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