AVOIDABLE COSTS

Unsafe abortion complications eat into health budget

Money spent on treating these complications could have been used to provide family planning services

In Summary

• Abortion-related emergencies require extended inpatient services, high intensive care and highly skilled health providers. 

• Budgeting for abortion-related complications requires up to date information on the costs required. 

The post abortion care pocket guide approved by the Ministry of Health
AVOIDABLE COSTS: The post abortion care pocket guide approved by the Ministry of Health
Image: COURTESY

Treatment of complications of unsafe abortion consumes a disproportionate amount of health systems resources in Kenya including staff time and acquisition of medical supplies.

Last year, severe complications from unsafe abortion accounted for 54 per cent of the total health costs. Post-abortion care also consumes a significant amount of resources that would otherwise be spent on other areas of health including reproductive, maternal and child health.

It takes an average of 12 hours to treat severe complications of unsafe abortion with an average cost of Sh4,900. Cost of treating unsafe abortion is on the rise at Sh433 million in 2012 and Sh533 million in 2016. These costs are double the budget required to increase contraceptive access to 100,000 women of reproductive age. 

Abortion-related emergencies require extended inpatient services, high intensive care and highly skilled health providers adding on to the other treatment costs. A major limitation in budgeting for abortion-related complications is lack of up to date information on the costs required to provide post-abortion care.

Such information will improve budgeting and resource allocation to all areas of health including post-abortion care. To address issues of costs related to unsafe abortion, we must ensure there is up to date information on money spent on post-abortion care. We must ensure budgetary allocation for family planning services and contraceptives and also implement short and long term measures to save costs and lives.

 

Naya Kenya