Emergency Contraception Among Women With Abortion At University Teaching Hospital In Lusaka, Zambia
Background: The maternal mortality ratio for Zambia is 591/100 000 live births. Globally between 15 – 30% of the maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortions. According to the Zambian demographic health survey (ZDHS), the contraceptive prevalence rate was 34% (CSO, 2003). The unmet need for family planning was 27%. Emergency contraception pill (ECP) was officially launched in Zambia in 1998 by the Ministry of Health with the aim of strengthening reproductive health. It can be obtained free of charge at public health institutions and also as an over the counter drug.
Objective: To determine knowledge, Practice and attitude towards Emergency Contraception (EC) among women with abortion at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Lusaka, Zambia.
Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study design and an interview schedule were administered to 200 women admitted to UTH with abortion aged between 18 – 49 years old.
Main outcome measure: Emergency contraception awareness among women with abortions at UTH, Lusaka.
Results: The median age of the participants was 19 years. Only 7.5% had ever heard of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs). Majority (70%) were married with the majority reporting being married for less than 5 years. The contraceptive ever use rate was 78.5%and 58% the participants had their first pregnancies as teenagers. Almost a third (31%) was nulliparous. The most common sources of information about EC were friends (80%). Level of education was significantly associated with the outcome of EC awareness (OR = 9.5; 95% CI [3.06 – 29.87] (P value 0.001). Another factor that was significantly associated with the outcome of EC awareness was the level of EC knowledge (OR = 0.00; 95% CI [0.00 – 0.02](P value 0.001). Other factors such as age, place of residence and marital status were not significantly associated with EC awareness.
Conclusion: Knowledge about Emergency Contraception (EC) among women with abortions admitted to UTH is low. Friends are an important source of EC information. Awareness and knowledge of EC should be increased.