Effects of implementing a postabortion care strategy in Kinshasa referral hospitals, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Daniel Katuashi Ishoso, Antoinette Tshefu, Thérèse Delvaux, Michèle Dramaix, Guy Mukumpuri, Yves Coppieters

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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of the implementation of a postabortion care (PAC) strategy in Kinshasa referral hospitals, this study analyzed the quality of postabortion care services, including postabortion contraception, and the duration of hospitalization.

METHODOLOGY: We estimated the effects of the PAC strategy using a quasi-experimental study by evaluating the outcomes of 334 patients with the diagnosis of a complication of induced abortion admitted to 10 hospitals in which the PAC strategy was implemented compared to the same outcomes in 314 patients with the same diagnosis admitted to 10 control facilities from 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2018. In response to government policy, the PAC strategy included the treatment of abortion complications with recommended uterine evacuation technology, the family planning counseling and service provision, linkages with other reproductive health services, including STI evaluation and HIV counseling and/or referral for testing, and partnerships between providers and communities. The information was collected using a questionnaire and stored using open data kit software. We supplemented this information with data abstracted from patient records, facility registries of gynecological obstetrical emergencies, and family planning registries. We analyzed data and developed regression models using STATA15. Thus, we compared changes in use of specific treatments and duration of hospitalization using a "difference-in-differences" analysis.

RESULTS: The implementation of PAC strategy in Kinshasa referral hospitals has resulted in the utilization of WHO recommended uterine evacuation method MVA (29.3% more in the experimental structures, p = 0.025), a significant decline in sharp-curettage (19.3% less, p = 0.132), and a decline in the duration of hospitalization of patients admitted for PAC (1 day less, p = 0.020). We did not observe any change in the use of PAC services, mortality, and the provision of post abortion contraception.

CONCLUSION: Despite significant improvement in the management of PAC, the uptake in WHO approved technology-namely MVA, and the duration of hospitalization, these outcomes while a significant improvement for DRC, indicate that additional quality improvement strategies for management of PAC and risk-mitigating strategies to reduce barriers to care are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalReproductive Health
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Abortion, Induced/adverse effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Family Planning Services/methods
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Young Adult


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