Community-based availability of Misoprostol: Is it Safe?

  • N Prata
  • G Mbaruku
  • AA. Grossman
  • M Holston
  • K Hsieh
Keywords: Misoprostol, Postpartum hemorrhage, Traditional birth attendants, Community-based, safety, Acceptability


This paper evaluates the safety and acceptability of long-term community-based use of misoprostol for management of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in home-births, by comparing deliveries with and
without misoprostol use in communities of Kigoma, Tanzania. We administered a standardized survey instrument to women who delivered between August 2004 and May 2007. 940 women completed
questionnaires, corresponding to 950 deliveries. Findings showed that the majority of TBAs administered misoprostol at the correct time (76%). Receipt of three or five tablets was most commonly reported (47% and 43% respectively). Misoprostol users were significantly more likely to experience shivering, high temperature, nausea, and vomiting after delivery; adjustment for gynecological history and delivery characteristics revealed no significant differences in experience of symptoms. Misoprostol was highly acceptable to all women surveyed. Misoprostol at the community level is a safe intervention (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[2]:117-128).

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eISSN: 1118-4841