Non-Physician Providers and Comprehensive Abortion Care: The Case of Tigray, Ethiopia

Ndola Prata, University of California, Berkeley
Divya Vohra, University of California, Berkeley
Amanuel Guessessew, Tigrai Health Bureau
Martine Holston, Venture Strategies

Training mid-level health providers to perform safe abortion-related services using medication and MVA is a necessary step toward reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. Using data from a pilot study of a comprehensive abortion care intervention in Tigray, Ethiopia, we examined the performance of mid-level, non-physician health providers in performing safe pregnancy terminations and treatment of incomplete abortion. We explored which types of health providers performed abortion-related services in different health facilities, and which methods providers preferred to use. We also examined whether the type of provider a patient saw determined whether that patient had a successful treatment outcome. In bivariate analyses and multivariable logistic regression controlling for a variety of confounders, provider type was not significantly associated with treatment outcomes. These findings demonstrate that non-physician health providers can, with appropriate training and supervision, safely perform abortion-related services, thereby expanding access to these services without creating an additional burden on physicians.

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