Barriers to Sustainable MVA Supply in Ghana: Challenges for the Low-Volume, Low-Income Providers

  • M Graff
  • DA Amoyaw
Keywords: Manual vacuum aspiration, Ghana, Nurse midwives, Revolving purchase mechanism, Abortion, Postabortion care


Multiple studies have demonstrated that manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) is ideal for surgical uterine evacuation in low-resource settings such as Ghana, but developing a sustainable supply to MVA has
been challenging. In 2007 a situational analysis was conducted in Ghana to identify barriers to sustainable MVA supply. Information about MVA availability was gathered in seven regions of Ghana
and obtained through background literature, unpublished data and reports, and 70 informational interviews with stakeholders involved with MVA policy, manufacturing, procurement, distribution,
supply, training, and provision. The findings revealed that despite consensus about the dire need for MVA in Ghana, developing sustainable access to MVA instruments has proven difficult. In the public and the private health sectors, procuring MVA equipment has been particularly challenging for lowincome, low-volume service providers. Research findings yielded ten recommendations for improving
sustainable access to MVA, including the implementation of a revolving purchase mechanism for health provider associations, such as the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (Afr J Reprod Health 2009;

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