Pattern and outcome of induced abortion in Abakaliki, southeast of Nigeria
Background: Unsafe abortion accounts for a greater proportion of maternal deaths, yet it is often not adequately considered in discussions around reducing maternal mortality.
Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the pattern of unsafe abortion and the extent to which unsafe abortion contributes to maternal morbidity and mortality in our setting as well as assess the impact of post‑abortion care.
Subjects and Methods: A descriptive study of patients who were admitted for complications following induced abortions between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2008 at the Federal Medical Center, Abakaliki South East of Nigeria with data obtained from case records.
Results: Out of the 1,562 gynecogical admissions, a total of 83 patients presented with the complications arising from induced abortion. The age group 20‑24 years was mostly affected and adolescents constituted 32.5% (27/83).Nearly 15.7% (13/83) of these patients died while the remaining 84.3% (70/83) had various complications, which were mainly septicemia 59.0% (49/83), anemia 47.0% (39/83), peritonitis 41.0% (34/83), hemorrhages 34.9% (29/83) and uterine perforation 30.1% (25/83). During the study, there were 38 gynecological deaths and abortion related death accounted for 34.2% (13/38) of these gynecological deaths. 84.3% (70/83) of the patients had no documented evidence of counseling on family planning and 59.0% (49/83) were not aware of the different methods of contraception.
Conclusion: Unsafe abortion remains one of the most neglected sexual and reproductive health problems in developing countries today despite its significant contribution to maternal mortality and morbidity. Solutions and remedies include prevention of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies by sex education and access to safe and sustainable family planning methods.
Keywords: Abakaliki, Nigeria, Pattern, Unsafe abortion