Scaling up postabortion contraceptive service--results from a study conducted among women having unwanted pregnancies in urban and rural Tanzania

Contraception. 2005 Nov;72(5):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2005.04.015. Epub 2005 Jun 29.


Introduction: It is well recognized that unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion are significant public health problems in sub-Saharan Africa. At the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994, postabortion care was prioritized as a means to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality associated with unsafe abortion. However, only a few postabortion care programs have been implemented and most of them have been confined to urban settings. The present study describes the magnitude of the problem of unwanted pregnancies among women with incomplete abortion in urban and rural Tanzania and evaluates the outcome of a postabortion care intervention.

Methods: Data were collected among 781 women admitted with incomplete abortion in Dar es Salaam region (urban Tanzania) and 575 women in Kagera region (rural Tanzania).

Results: Sixty-seven percent of the women in urban Tanzania and 42% in rural Tanzania stated that their pregnancy was unwanted. Contraceptive acceptance among women with unwanted pregnancies was high; 93% in urban Tanzania and 71% in rural Tanzania left with a contraceptive method.

Conclusion: The high proportion of women with unwanted pregnancies in urban and rural Tanzania underlines the need of scaling up postabortion contraceptive service.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Criminal / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / psychology*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Marital Status
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted / psychology*
  • Rural Population
  • Tanzania
  • Urban Population