Background: The family planning component of postabortion care (PAC) is critical, as it helps women to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce future incidence of life-threatening unsafe abortion. In Tanzania, PAC was recently decentralized from tertiary-level district hospitals to primary health care dispensaries in four regions of the country. This analysis describes interventions used to improve access to high quality PAC services during decentralization; examines results and factors that contribute to PAC clients' voluntary uptake of contraception; and develops recommendations for improving postabortion contraceptive services.
Methods: This analysis uses service delivery statistics of 18,688 PAC clients compiled from 120 facilities in Tanzania between 2005 and 2014.
Results: This study suggests that efforts to integrate postabortion family planning into treatment for incomplete abortion contributed to higher postabortion contraceptive uptake (86%). Results indicate that variables associated with significant differences in contraceptive uptake were facility level, age, gestational age at the time of treatment, and uterine evacuation technology used.
Conclusion: The experience of expanding PAC services in Tanzania suggests that integrating contraceptive services with treatment for abortion complications can increase family planning use.
Keywords: Contraceptive uptake; Decentralization; Family planning; Postabortion care; Tanzania.