Barriers to expansion of post abortion contraception within the FIGO Initiative on Prevention of Unsafe Abortion in Africa
University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
An estimated 22 million abortions continue to be performed unsafely each year, resulting in the death of an estimated 47,000 women and disabilities for an additional five million women. Almost every one of these deaths and disabilities could have been prevented through sexuality education, family planning and the provision of safe, legal induced abortion and care for complications of abortion. Further abortions could be reduced through provision of effective postabortion contraception. Though postabortion contraception is an official strategy this is rarely implemented in African countries resulting in very few women leaving hospital with a method, especially long acting reversal contraception (LARC), following treatment for incomplete abortion. The following barriers were identified for poor utilisation of postabortion contraception: lack of awareness of the methods; fear of side effects; ignorance (at times they think they can't conceive immediately after an abortion); lack of partner support/culture; and religious beliefs. Lack of provider knowledge and stock are two of the barriers to postabortion contraception utilisation.