Epidemiology of induced abortion in Nairobi, Kenya.
Aggarwal, V P
Mati, J K
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PIP: This is a prospective analysis of 610 patients admitted for abortion at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya, between May and October 1981. 60% of the acute gynecological beds are occupied by abortion seekers, and 62.3% of the total abortion admissions are induced or likely to be induced. Abortion is more common among single adolescent girls who had no knowledge of contraception--43% are adolescent girls; 79% are unmarried; and 60% school girls or unemployed women. 64% of the patients were aware of family planning, but only 20% had used any form of contraception within the previous 12 months. Others were either unaware of, or did not have access to contraceptive devices. In most cases abortion is an alternative to contraception. 25% of the cases are performed by nonmedical personnel using dangerous methods. Such abortions lead to complications, both immediate and long-term. Maternal mortality rate in this study is 3 abortion deaths/1,000 admissions. Mean hospital stay in the induced group is 98 hours, as compared with the 32 hours in the case of the non-induced group. This paper urges that unwanted pregnancies must be prevented through health, family planning and sex education, and effective contraception.