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 Researchers found that women receiving post-abortion care were most commonly treated using outdated methods, such as D&C, that are not recommended by the World Health Organization.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 place in Kinshasa in 2016 resulted in complications that were treated in a health facility. Experts in Kinshasa surveyed by the study team estimated that an additional 11,500 abortions resulted in complications that should have had medical attention but instead went untreated. Among women who were treated for complications, 16% experienced severe complications, such as shock, organ failure or death. Nearly half had moderate complications; and the remaining 38% had mild or no complications. Just 15% of women with severe complications received pain medication as part of their post-abortion care.

SOURCE: Guttmacher Institute, 27 September 2018