Costs of treating complications of unsafe abortion in low- and middle-income countries.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Abortion (Complications and side effects)
Abortion (Economic aspects)
Medical care, Cost of (Evaluation)
Medical care (Quality management)
Medical care (Management)
Pub Date: 05/01/2010
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: May, 2010 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 35
Topic: Event Code: 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management
Accession Number: 236247741
Full Text: Annually, an estimated 5.2 million women seek treatment for the complications of unsafe abortion and there has been recent interest in estimating the regional and global costs of unsafe abortion to inform policy and advocacy. This systematic review assesses the quality of costing studies of post-abortion care from low- and middle-income countries and describes the unit costs in various settings. 21 studies were analysed. There have been very few costing studies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Data indicate that the cost (in 2007 international dollars) of post-abortion care in Africa and Latin America is $392 and $430, respectively, per woman treated. Differences in the level of costs were associated with region, procedure, facility level, case severity, and whether the study reporting the data was an operations research study. The mean estimated cost of manual vacuum aspiration was $225 lower than that of dilatation and curettage (D&C), which supports the transition to vacuum aspiration, as recommended by the World Health Organization. Methods varied between studies, and efforts should be made in future research to improve consistency. Additional data are needed from Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as the costs of medical methods of uterine evacuation. (1) One recent study using two different methods and results from 20 empirical studies estimated that the health system costs of treatment for the complications of unsafe abortion, euphemistically called post-abortion care, in African and Latin America combined range from $159 million to $333 million per year, putting a substantial financial burden on health systems. (2)

(1.) Shearer JC, Walker DG, Vlassoff M. Costs of post-abortion care in low- and middle-income countries. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2010;108:165-69.

(2.) Vlassoff M, Walker D, Shearer J, et al. Estimates of health care system costs of unsafe abortion in Africa and Latin America. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2009;35(3):114-21.
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