Reducing maternal mortality through training health professionals how to manage abortion/complications

By Maggie Sullivan Moderator | 07 Jul, 2010

Anat, thank you for posting this study- I think it's relevant to nurses/midwives in any country. Given the wide variability of abortion laws across the globe, not to mention within one country such as the United States, I am not surprised that nursing/midwifery students in Ghana were not aware of their own laws. I think US nursing students, or medical students, would be similarly hard pressed to articulate the abortion laws in their own states. However, given high maternal mortality rates in many countries, the prevalence of abortion around the world, and the risk of complications, it would be prudent that all health professionals who provide medical care to women would have some minimum level of education/training on this topic. Unfortunately, this is not usually a requirement for nursing or medical students. I would suggest that providing basic training on the management of abortion and its potential complications to all nursing and medical students would go a long way toward reducing maternal mortality. Even starting with an awareness of one's state/country's law, knowing how to identify an emergency and where to refer a woman who is experiencing a complication would make a significant impact and could be readily integrated into training programs.

Does anyone have access to a basic protocol for the management of abortion or its complications in low-resource settings?

World Map of Abortion Laws - 2007
(courtesy of

Briefing paper delineating international abortion laws - 2007
(courtesy of

List of OB/GYN and family practice residency programs in the US and Canada that offer abortion training:
(courtesy of Medical Students for Choice)


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