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Afr J Reprod Health. 2003 Dec;7(3):55-64.

Knowledge, attitude and practice of private medical practitioners in Calabar towards post-abortion care.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, PMB 1115, Calabar, Nigeria.


This study examined the knowledge, attitude and practice of private medical practitioners in Calabar on abortion, post-abortion case and post-abortion family planning. Forty eight private practitioners who were proprietors of private clinics in the city were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The results showed that 22.9% of the doctors routinely terminate unwanted pregnancies when requested to do so by women, while 83.3% of them treat women who experience complications of unsafe abortion. The major reasons given by some of the doctors for not terminating unwanted pregnancies were religious, moral and ethical considerations rather than respect for the Nigerian abortion law. Only 18.2% of the doctors use standard procedures such as manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) for the management of patients with abortion and abortion complications. A good number of them did not routinely practice integrated post-abortion family planning and STDs management. There is need for a comprehensive programme of retraining of private medical practitioners in Calabar on the principles and practices of safe abortion, post-abortion care and family planning. These aspects of reproductive health need to be integrated into the medical training curricula in Nigeria. It is believed that this approach would help reduce the present high rate of abortion-related morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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