The Cost to the Health System of Unsafe Abortion in Rwanda

Michael Vlassoff, Guttmacher Institute
Sabine Musange Furere, National University of Rwanda
Ina Kalisa, National University of Rwanda

Medical complications resulting from unsafe abortion constitute a serious economic burden for the health-care system in many developing countries. In Rwanda, little is known about induced abortion. However, a 2010 nationally representative study found that about 60,000 abortions occurred annually. Since the legal basis for abortion is highly restrictive in Rwanda, most of these abortions are unsafe, and contribute substantially to maternal morbidity and mortality levels. Our paper builds on the incidence study by documenting the cost of post-abortion care to the health system in Rwanda. Through a 2012 survey of 39 randomly selected health facilities we collected data on personnel inputs, overhead costs and capital costs as well as inputs of drugs, supplies and materials. The cost estimates provided by this study are the most complete available from any study done to date on this subject and are the first estimates of the cost of unsafe abortion in Rwanda.

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Presented in Session 34: The Cost of Unsafe Abortion in Developing Countries