Study to assess the importance and severity of abortion-related complications launched

Wednesday 22 May 2019
Abortion-related complications Maternal mortality Mixed-method study Observational quantitative study Qualitative study Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Central African Republic (CAR) Nigeria
Introduction
Multicentric AMoCo study in Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Nigeria aims to assess the importance of abortion-related complications, including fatal or near-fatal events and the clinical care that is provided.
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Corps éditorial

AMoCo study will assess the magnitude of abortion-related complications in hospitals of fragile and conflict-affected settings.

A 3-year study in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic, and Nigeria is going to start to collect data to inform adapted strategies to better prevent abortion-related deaths and severe complications.

The study will assess the importance and severity of abortion-related complications, and in particular abortion-related deaths and "near miss" events (complications that almost led to death, but the woman survived). This study will be conducted in 3 health facilities supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in fragile and/or conflict-affected African contexts. It will include an observational quantitative study of more than 1,200 women who have had abortion-related complications, a qualitative study exploring the experiences of women who suffered a "near-miss" event, and an assessment of the health care facilities and the quality of care delivered for abortion-related complication.

The context of the study

Abortion-related complications are one of the top five causes of maternal mortality in the world. Nevertheless, these complications remain the most neglected cause of maternal mortality, for which few improvements have been achieved these last 2 decades. A total of 97% of unsafe abortions occur in limited-resources countries. Moreover, in fragile and/or conflict-affected settings, insecurity increases the vulnerability of women who are more likely to be exposed to sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies.

At MSF access to abortion medical care (post-abortion care, contraception and safe medical care for termination of pregnancy) is a priority in order to reduce maternal mortality and suffering. But projects providing maternal care, many of which are in fragile and/or conflict-affected settings, still lack visibility on this activity, particularly on abortion-related complications. The existing data in these contexts do not allow to measure the magnitude, the profile and the severity of the complications, or the quality of their clinical management. Thus, the AMoCo study will assess the importance and severity of abortion-related complications, and in particular abortion-related deaths and "near miss" events.

Epicentre and MSF are conducting this study in partnership with the Guttmacher Institute and the NGO Ipas, which are leaders in research and program management for access to abortion care. Finally, this research study conducted in collaboration with the Ministries of Health of each of the concerned countries; is the first one conducted on this topic in fragile and/or conflict-affected settings.

The study is co-funded by MSF and the humanitarian charity ELRHA.

Note: AMoCo - Abortion-related Morbidity and mortality in fragile and Conflict-affected settings