In February 2018, the Central African Network for Women’s Reproductive Health (Réseau d’Afrique centrale pour la santé reproductive des femmes) conducted a study on the extent of abortions among Gabonese women and girls and how they accessed post-abortion care for complications.
In this article, we describe the results of changes in abortion-related fatalities in CHL over four consecutive 3-year periods: 2005-07, 2008-10, 2011-13, and 2014-16. The outcome evaluated was the number of abortion-related deaths per 1000 women and the proportion of all maternal deaths caused by abortion. Analysis was based on retrospective evaluation of clinical records without identification of patients; thus, informed consent was not requested. This study was approved by the administration of CHL acting as the ethical review committee. No statistical analysis was done. The abortion-related fatality rate fell from 12.3 per 1000 abortions between 2005 and 2007, to 2.9 per 1000 in 2008–10, and 0.7 per 1000 in 2011–13 (Table 1). Abortion-related maternal deaths accounted for 25% of all maternal deaths in the first period, with this percentage decreasing to 10% in the second period and to 2% in the third period. After the changes in hospital administration, the abortion-related fatality rate increased to 10 per 1000 abortions and to 14% of all maternal deaths between 2014 and 2016. Our findings suggest that abortion-related mortality can be substantially reduced by interventions within the hospital aimed at improving the care of women with abortion-related complications, particularly by reducing delays in the provision of effective care. These findings also highlight the importance of constantly motivating hospital staff to ensure that this beneficial effect remains.
“Our Centre aims to have a welcoming atmosphere, offering listening and counselling without prejudice or restrictions to young people in search of information about their emotional and sexual lives. We would like one day to become a truly integrated family planning centre as well as a centre for studies on sexual health in collaboration with various local and international partners.”