Abortion Complications

Friday 2 July 2021 - Updated on Wednesday 6 September 2023


Evaluation of the magnitude and severity of abortion-related complications and factors associated with severe and near miss events in three African humanitarian settings (AMoCo)


Abortion related complications are one of the 5 main causes of maternal mortality worldwide. Women and girls in limited resources countries have a higher likelihood to have an induced abortion than those in high resources countries. More important though, 97% of the world unsafe abortions happen in limited resources countries, resulting in high rates of complications treated at health facility level.

Although unsafe abortion is one of the causes of maternal mortality that is easily preventable, it is a neglected cause of maternal mortality, showing one of the smallest declines in direct obstetrical cause-specific maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2013. As a result, abortion-related complications are currently the main cause of maternal mortality worldwide, representing 18% of them (alongside hemorrhage).

Multicentric AMoCo study aims to assess the importance of abortion-related complications, including fatal or near-fatal events and the clinical care that is provided. 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.



DRC (Masisi), Nigeria (Jahun), Central African Republic (Castor).

Tentative End date

December 2022

Our Role


Who's Involved

OCB, OCP, Bureau International

IPAS, Guttmacher Institute

Ministries of health of the Central African Republic, the Jigawa State (Nigeria), the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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