200896 Characteristics of women seeking abortion-related services in Ethiopia

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ndola Prata, MD, MSc , The Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Yilma Melkamu, MD, MPH , School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Martine Holston, MPH , Venture Strategies Innovations, Berkeley, CA
Tesfaye Endrias, MD, MPH , Venture Strategies for Health and Development/DKT Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lensse Gobu , School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Nuriye Nalan Sahin-Hodoglugil, MD, MA, DrPH , Venture Strategies Innovations, Berkeley, CA
In Ethiopia, which has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, over 30% of maternal deaths are abortion-related. We analyzed the service statistics of 1,200 women seeking safe abortion or post-abortion care from October 2008 to February 2009 in three public and three private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to investigate the characteristics of women seeking safe abortion or post-abortion care. We also conducted in-depth interviews with five abortion-care providers to illuminate the contextual factors of abortion service provision in these clinics.

Over half of those seeking abortion-related care during the study period were aged 25 years or less; fewer than 5% were under 18 or over 36. Education level was well distributed. More women were single (52%) than married (44%). Almost all abortions occurred within the first trimester (90%); 75% before ten weeks gestation. A third of women had a previous abortion. Over half had ever used family planning. A contraceptive method was provided to 86% of women; most commonly pills, injectables, and condoms.

Provider interviews confirmed that the majority of services at these facilities are abortion-related. Perspectives on the burden of unsafe abortion varied from being a rare case to constituting most of the abortion-related client load. All mentioned that repeat abortion is common. Providers indicated socio-economic differences in service-seeking behavior.

In order to best serve women seeking abortion-related services, policy-makers in Ethiopia should focus their efforts on reaching single, poor, and young women and rejuvenate family planning efforts to reduce repeat abortions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Review the socio-demographic characteristics of women seeking abortion services in Ethiopia 2. Discuss the implications of these characteristics on the provision of services and development of national policies and programs related to safe abortion service provision

Keywords: Abortion, International Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical doctor and have a doctorate of Public Health. I assisted in the analysis of this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.