Persistently high levels of maternal mortality have been reported in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, with a high prevalence of deaths related to complications of induced abortion. In order to assess the determinants of maternal deaths in induced-abortion complications, this study investigated women admitted to the gynecological departments of four reference hospitals throughout Ivory Coast. Information concerning abortion events was collected by means of a questionnaire during a confidential, face-to-face interview. Medical records were used to collect clinical data and final vital status. In our series, 60% of women declared that they induced abortion themselves at their home; a large majority mentioned "insertion of objects into the vagina" or "ingestion of traditional plants" for this purpose. On the other hand, 40% declared that abortion had been performed by a health worker, mostly at a health facility and by using surgical methods (dilatation and curettage). Less-educated women were more likely to have chosen to induce abortion themselves at home, and more-educated women had undergone abortion through a health professional. Our findings highlight the role of both women and health professionals in responsibility for induced abortion complications.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc.