Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Effectiveness of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) on the Public Acceptability of Unsafe Abortion Solutions

Ishaq F Abdul, Olayinka R Balogun, Momoh Anate, Yusuf M Kasim, Mohammed J Saka, Yusuf S Oganija


Context: Public health measures suggested to curb the menace of unsafe abortions in developing countries include liberalization of abortion law, family life education and family planning. However public acceptability of these solution options are poor.

Objective: To examine the efficacy of information, education and communication (IEC) on the public acceptability of unsafe abortion solution options of contraception, family life education including sex education and liberalization of abortion laws. Our aim was to use IEC to improve public acceptability of the recommended solutions.

Methods: Trained questionnaire administrators interviewed randomly selected civil servants in Ilorin, Nigeria to asses the level of their acceptability of the various options. There were 95 respondents for the baseline interviews and 93 respondents for the post IEC interviews. The responses were compared pre- and post-IEC to assess the effectiveness of the IEC.

Results: Contraception for adults was the most acceptable solution to the public both pre- and post-IEC, the acceptability doubling (46.3% to 93.4%) after IEC. Contraception for adolescents, and family life education showed appreciable improved acceptability post IEC (25.3% to 40.2% and 40% to 67.4%) respectively Liberalization of abortion law also appreciated marginally in the amount of yes answers (14.8% to 18.5%). Ironically, the percentage of rejecters also appreciated from 78.9% to 79.3%, giving a very weak correlation coefficient of 0.42.

Conclusion: IEC is effective in improving public acceptability of unsafe abortion solutions. The need for an extension and sustenance of this intervention strategy to all segments of the society for effective advocacy is an imperative

Key Words: Unsafe Abortions, Information, Counselling, Education

[Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2002, 19: 12-16].
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