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Community Surveillance of post-abortion care services

Jhony Juarez, MD1, Miguel Gutierrez, MD1, Enrique Guevara, MD1, and Alfonso Villacorta, MD2. (1) Pathfinder International, 9 Galen Street, Suite 217, Watertown, MA 02472, 617-924-7200, mkane@pathfind.org, (2) Project 2000, Pathfinder International, 9 Galen Street, Suite 217, Watertown, MA 02472

Unsafe abortion is the third greatest cause of maternal mortality in Peru, considered by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to be a public health priority. Between 1997 and 2002, the MOH implemented an Integrated Postabortion Care (PAC) program in 48 public hospitals. In May 2001, Pathfinder International completed a report on its qualitative investigation title, “Community Opinion of Postabortion Care Services and Family Planning in the district of Puente Piedra, Lima, Peru.”

Results of the study indicate that women identify hemorrhage as a principal postabortion complication, but have difficulty recognizing when they are hemorrhaging and reaching a harmful state. The study also showed that public sector PAC services received a rating of ‘average,’ while family planning services received a rating of ‘poor quality,’ and that the majority of women do not fully understand their sexual and reproductive rights.

Using the results of this study, a strategy of community health surveillance has been developed and is coordinated by the Santa Rosa Hospital of Help in Piura and local women’s organizations in the region. This strategy allows for community empowerment both of the local NGOs as well as the citizenship and gives community members control over the quality of health services provided in the area. Even more, the community surveillance strategy is an effective means of spreading information on healthy pregnancy and recognizing signs of alarm during the first half of gestation, improving access to PAC, and informing community members of their sexual and reproductive rights.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Post-Abortion Care, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Post Abortion Care: Programming for Success

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA