A study by Doctors Without Borders and others warns of the proliferation of complications suffered by women following a terminated pregnancy in conflict-affected regions
MONICAH MWANGI, BEATRIZ LECUMBERRI, (REUTERS)
SEP 11, 2023
“I arrived at a hospital in Bangui and a 25-year-old woman had just died in my colleagues’ arms from complications following an abortion,” says Estelle Pasquier, a researcher with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). “This can happen several times a month, but it is a preventable death with the right measures. The doctors there have their hands tied by legal and social impediments, but the vast majority consider that the healthcare in these circumstances is a right for all women because they see the damage wreaked on a daily basis when that right is ignored.” What Pasquier is describing prompted a pioneering study, of which she is co-author, on the complications suffered by women after abortion in particularly volatile regions of sub-Saharan Africa, a corner of the world where 70% of deaths related in some way to maternity occur.
Posted 6 Sep 2023
A study of two hospitals in conflict-affected settings finds patients at significantly higher risk of developing severe complications resulting from unsafe abortions.
Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the world, with over 20,000 people dying each year due to related complications. In fragile or conflict-affected settings, the complications resulting from unsafe abortion are up to seven times more severe.
5 September 2023
Médecins Sans Frontières
Complications following unsafe abortions are up to seven times more severe in fragile or conflict-affected settings: these are the findings of one of the very first studies on the subject, carried out in two referral hospitals in Bangui in the Central African Republic and Jigawa State in northern Nigeria. Behind the statistics, real stories of real women – and a universal vulnerability.
“I was distraught. I had drunk the traditional medicine. Before that, someone had shown me how to insert a piece of iron into my vagina... It was a piece of iron like this [she shows the interviewer the size],” says Rasha*, a 32-year-old woman admitted to Bangui referral hospital with potentially life-threatening abortion-related complications.
FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2023
Research on abortion complications in crisis settings has been limited to date, but a multi-year study by Ipas and partners is filling that gap—with initial findings pointing to the need to prioritize programs improving postabortion, safe abortion and contraceptive care for people living in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
Known as the AMoCO (abortion-related morbidity and mortality in fragile and conflict-affected settings) study, the research is being carried out by Ipas, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Guttmacher Institute and Epicentre, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Jigawa State, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – The authorities address unsafe abortion (text in English and French)
Les autorités s’attaquent à l’IVG non médicalisée
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Jan 28, 2020
En Centrafrique, le gouvernement s’attaque à la mortalité maternelle et infantile. Des assises se sont tenues cette semaine pour étudier la question. Les chiffres sont effrayants : 1/3 de la mortalité maternelle est causée par des interruptions volontaires de grossesses non médicalisées (882 décès de femmes pour 100 000 naissances).
In the Central African Republic, unsafe abortions are the leading cause of maternal mortality. Abortion is illegal and punishable by several years’ imprisonment. Only therapeutic abortion under certain conditions is legal. Assizes were held this week to study the question. The figures: one-third of maternal mortality is caused by unsafe abortions (MMR: 882 deaths per 100,000 live births). Each day, six women die as a result of their pregnancy or childbirth; this is why the government has launched an analysis to adapt its policy.
Health Minister Pierre Somse said: “It is only because of the criminal nature of the law on termination of pregnancy that most women hide and therefore hide to die.” He has called for a new law to reduce maternal deaths, better sex education and better access to family planning methods. He said: