Incidence and Complications of Unsafe Abortion in Kenya
Unsafe abortion is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a procedure for terminating pregnancy, carried out either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both. Under the 2010 Kenyan constitution, abortion may be granted to a pregnant woman or girl, when in the opinion of a trained health professional, she needs emergency treatment or her life or health is in danger. Nevertheless, unsafe abortion remains a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in Kenya. The treatment of complications of unsafe abortion also consumes significant health systems resources. In this report, we document findings from a recent nationwide study of the incidence of induced abortion and severity of complications of unsafe abortion in Kenya. The study was conducted in 2012 among a nationally-representative sample of Levels II to VI public and private health facilities. The Abortion Incidence Complications Methodology (AICM) and the Prospective Morbidity Methodology (PMM) were used as well-established and complementary approaches to estimate abortion incidence and the severity of unsafe abortion complications in Kenya.