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East Afr Med J. 1996 Mar;73(3):164-8.

Induced abortion in Kenya: its determinants and associated factors.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyse.


In a study involving 1077 women who were admitted and treated for incomplete abortion and its related problems at eight hospitals (seven district and one mission hospitals) in six of the eight provinces of Kenya, between October 1988 and March 1989, 169 (15.7%) had illegally induced unsafe abortion, based on their own history and clinical findings. The illegally induced unsafe abortions were common among both rural and urban dwellers, and women from almost all social and economic strata were involved. However, they were more common among the youth (< 25 year olds), school girls, those with high formal education, in formal employment, and not currently married. Majority (90.4%), of the induced group said their pregnancies were unwanted, as compared to only 29.1% of the non-induced (p < 0.05). The main determining factor for termination of pregnancy amongst these women appeared to be the fact that it was unwanted and/or unplanned, either because of inappropriate timing, the type of man responsible, the relationship itself and the social and economic implications thereof. This is contributed to by poor contraceptive use inspite of very good awareness, and/or desire to use. There is urgent need to integrate abortion care and related services into the overall reproductive health care and as a part of the broader safe motherhood initiative in Kenya. In addition it is necessary to revise the legal provisions on abortion so as to make them more relevant. Appropriate management of adolescent fertility, should be undertaken with the aim of reducing the extent of illegally induced unsafe abortion with attendant sequealae.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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