Decrease in use of manual vacuum aspiration in postabortion care in Malawi: A cross-sectional study from three public hospitals, 2008-2012
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE 2014, 9(6) 10.1371/journal.pone.0100728
Objectives: To investigate the use of manual vacuum aspiration in postabortion care in Malawi between 2008–2012. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was done at the referral hospital Queen Elisabeth Central Hospital, and the two district hospitals of Chiradzulu and Mangochi. The data were collected simultaneously at the three sites from Feb-March 2013. All records available for women admitted to the gynaecological ward from 2008-2012 were reviewed. Women who had undergone surgical uterine evacuation after incomplete abortion were included and the use of manual vacuum aspiration versus sharp curettage was analysed. Results: Altogether, 5121 women were included. One third (34.2%) of first trimester abortions were treated with manual vacuum aspiration, while all others were treated with sharp curettage. There were significant differences between the hospitals and between years. Overall there was an increase in the use of manual vacuum aspiration from 2008 (19.7%) to 2009 (31.0%), with a rapid decline after 2010 (28.5%) ending at only 4.9% in 2012. Conversely there was an increase in use of sharp curettage in all hospitals from 2010 to 2012. Conclusion: Use of manual vacuum aspiration as part of the postabortion care in Malawi is rather low, and decreased from 2010 to 2012, while the use of sharp curettage became more frequent. This is in contrast with current international guidelines.