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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 760-761
Minimizing the rates of unsafe abortion in developing nations


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Minimizing the rates of unsafe abortion in developing nations. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:760-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Minimizing the rates of unsafe abortion in developing nations. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Aug 20];10:760-1. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/3/760/188512


Dear Editor,

Globally, the incidence of abortion has remained quite high, with rates being extremely higher in developing nations.[1] In-fact, the estimates from a five-year period (2010–2014) suggest that close to one-fourth of all pregnancies were eventually terminated by an induced abortion amounting to 55 million-induced abortions performed each year.[1] Although the rates have reduced remarkably in developed nations since the 1990 estimates, the situation has remained almost same in developing nations with an abortion rate of 37 abortions per 1000 women.[1]

Unsafe abortion is the one in which a pregnancy is terminated either by persons deficient of the desired skills or in those settings, which do not meet basic recommendations, or both. [2,3] The recent figures reveal that almost 22 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, and almost all being done in developing nations.[1]

These procedures are often associated with numerous complications (like incomplete abortion, hemorrhage, infection, injuries, etc.), resulting in either hospitalization (viz. 5 million per year in developing nations alone) or no access to desired medical care (viz. 3 million per year), and even mortality (developed versus developing nations – 30 versus 220 deaths 1 lakh unsafe abortions performed), with Africa (62% of all associated deaths) being the worst affected region.[1],[4]

It is very important to understand that any woman with an unwanted pregnancy who cannot access safe abortion due to any reason/barrier (such as legal restrictions, limited availability of desired services, expensive, social stigma, objection from health care providers, mandatory waiting periods, misleading information, subjecting to irrelevant tests, etc.) is at the risk of unsafe abortion. [2,4] It is extremely common among women from the poor socioeconomic status, although the associated complications or death is predominant when the procedure is performed in the later stages of pregnancy. [1,2] Further, there is a definite financial burden on the women-family members-communities-health systems, and millions of dollars are spent in the management of complications and consequences resulting because of unsafe abortion.[2],[4]

As the rates of abortion have remained extremely high in developing regions, there is a great need to improve and expand the reach of services.[4] Acknowledging the adverse sequel attributed to unsafe abortions and impact on the quality of life, it is indispensable to realize that almost all untoward events are avoidable through safe sex education, adoption of contraception, provision of safe and legal-induced abortion services, and timely care for the resulting complications. [2,3] However, at no stage patients of unsafe abortion are denied the desired medical attention because of any legal ground, or due to the failure of disclosure of any information like who performed the procedure. [1,5] In addition, the programme managers should implement standard guidelines in heterogeneous settings, and encourage research work to address the social barriers prevalent in the community. [1,2]

To conclude, preventing unsafe abortions and ensuring timely management of the associated complications should be prioritized by the programme managers and every effort should be taken to work in collaboration with the different stakeholders, including international welfare agencies.

Acknowledgement

S.R.S. contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

P.S.S. contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

J.R. contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil

Conflicts of interest

None



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Preventing unsafe abortion - Fact sheet; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs388/en/. [Accessed May 17 2016]  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Unsafe abortion: a cruel way of birth control. Afr Health Sci 2014;14:487-88.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Guerra F, Bencini L. Unsafe abortion. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2016;198:162-63.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Vallely LM, Homiehombo P, Kelly-Hanku A, Whittaker A. Unsafe abortion requiring hospital admission in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea: a descriptive study of women's and health care workers' experiences. Reprod Health 2015;12:22.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization Health worker roles in providing safe abortion care post-abortion contraception. Geneva: WHO press; 2015. p.1-19.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur: Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.188512

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