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Abstract

A survey of attitudes and practices of reproductive health and family planning services among private medical practitioners in four states of the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria

Background Abortion is widespread in the Niger- Delta region of Nigeria, with resulting high rates of morbidity and mortality. It is thought that the private sector provides the majority of abortion services in Nigeria as a result of the restrictive abortion law in the country. The oil-rich Niger- Delta region accounts for 90% of the country’s resource, is economically active and has increased opportunities for sexual networking. Method This study assays the attitudes of staff at family planning (FP) services and practices of reproductive health and FP services among private practitioners in four states ofNiger-Delta of Nigeria (the states of Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers). ResultsWomen who had unwanted pregnancies were attended by 119 (87.5%) respondents. However, only 33 (24.0%) provided services for termination of pregnancy. Indeed, just over half (72; 53.4%) counselled women to continue the pregnancy while fewer (35; 25.9%) referred women to other clinics. However, there was no evidence to suggest that doctors followed up on those women counselled to continue their pregnancies. Most private sector service providers of abortion services in Nigeria (69.7%) are non-specialist doctors. ConclusionEducation of private practitioners in the principles of abortion, post-abortion care and FP is recommended to alleviate abortion-related morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.


Author(s):

Lawrence Osuakpor Omo-Aghoja, Afolabi Hammed, Friday Ebhodaghe Okonofua, Okpani Anthony Okpani, Oyinkondu Collins Koroye, Sylvester Ojobo, Iyore Itabor, Olakunle Daramola



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