Objectives: In Nepal, the change of the abortion law in 2002 extended the staff duties at family planning clinics to include performing induced abortions. This study investigated the experiences, opinions and attitudes of the staff about their work at safe abortion service centres in the Kathmandu Valley and identified areas in which the health care staff stated the need for improvement.
Study design: Fifteen qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with doctors and nurses working with induced abortion at one hospital and five clinics in the Kathmandu Valley. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the constant comparative method.
Results: The core category 'Proud, not yet satisfied' comprised a strong perception of providing an important service that is beneficial for women's health and a feeling of pride in providing quality service. Four related categories were identified: 'Beneficial legal framework', 'A will to reach out to all women', 'Frustration about misuse' and 'Dilemma of sex-selective abortion'. The respondents emphasised that improvements are necessary to (1) ensure that all women have access to safe abortion services; (2) prevent abortions from being used instead of contraceptives; (3) stop illegal medical abortions; and (4) deal with the dilemma of sex-selective abortions.
Conclusions: Respondents were proud of and had positive experiences from their work. They stated they have the opportunity to secure women's rights and health; however, changes are needed to bring the quality of abortion care to a satisfactory level.
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