Burden of Unsafe Abortion Among Young Ladies in Edo State, South-South Nigeria
Background: Unsafe abortion is a preventable cause of maternal mortality. It is common among the teenagers and young females mainly due to a combination of socio-economic vulnerability, teenage pregnancy, and inadequate access to healthcare services. This research was done to highlight some of the burdens of unsafe abortion among our very young females.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. A total of 423 young sexually active females aged 15-29 years, who consented to join in the study were recruited from 4 communities (2 urban and 2 rural) in Edo state of Nigeria using multistage sampling technique. Information were obtained from them using a pre-tested semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Data were analysed using Epi Info 3.5.4 Statistical software.
Results: Participants were between 17-29 years, mostly from low socio-economic class, and also students with tertiary level of education. The mean age of sexual debut was 19 years, with majority (70.2%) having multiple sexual partners, and 77.1% not using any form of contraceptive. Majority of the respondents (67.4%) have had abortions. About 75.4% of the respondents had had unsafe abortions. The relationship between abortion and the following were statistically significant: increasing age, not married, socio-economic status, and reproductive tract infection.
Conclusion: Unsafe abortion was found in this study to be high among adolescents and young women in Edo State, South-South Nigeria. Factors like socioeconomic vulnerability, teenage pregnancy, and inadequate access to healthcare services combine to leave large numbers of women at risk of unsafe abortion and abortion-related death.
Keywords: Abortion, Maternal, Mortality, Adolescents, Healthcare