The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4289.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 7

Abstract #49915

Key to accelerated reduction of deaths due to unsafe abortion in the Africa region

Philip Mwalali, MD, MPH, Ipas, Africa Regional Office, Rhapta Road/Mvuli Road Junction, P.O. Box 1192; 00200 City Sqaure, Nairobi, Kenya, 254-2-44-59-00,

The paper is principally based on the author's experience and observations in the African region where the high maternal mortality associated with unsafe abortion is primarily due to delays in making appropriate country specific decisions and actions. A situation analysis highlights factors sustaining delayed action in the region, interventions needed to minimize the delays and steps for accelerated action given the complex issues. Globally 175 million pregnancies occur yearly, 75 million unwanted and 20 million ending as unsafe abortions, most in Sub-Sahara Africa where many countries have written commitment to reduced maternal mortality rates. Despite the commitment, the maternal mortality rates high (up to 1500 per 100,000 live births). Most of the African countries recognize unsafe abortion as an important factor for the persistently high maternal morbidity and mortality rates. Facts include:- unsafe abortion one of the five leading cause of maternal mortality (54% of deaths in Ethiopia), women of low social economic status and adolescents suffer most. Limited knowledge and use of family planning play a role. Contraceptive prevalence rates (modern methods) are low, ranging from 4% (Rwanda) to 60% (Mauritius). Inadequate policies, legislature and health systems and unyielding hazardous cultures complicate the situation. The paper takes all into account in discussing the delays at the three key levels:- Preventing unwanted pregnancy, Preventing unsafe abortion and access to quality Post abortion care. The paper outlines the key role of the Ipas Africa Alliance in minimizing the delays and accelerating reduction of unsafe abortion related deaths. Proposed interventions will be supported with appropriate statistics.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Abortion, Post-Abortion Care

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Ipas
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employee of Ipas; Medical Deputy Director for Africa Region

Maternal Health: International Perspectives

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA