Abortion Procurement and Post-Abortion Care Services: Experiences of Nigerian Adolescents
AbstractIntroduction: The prevention of abortion related complications and mortality is dependent on the availability, accessibility and usability of emergency post-abortion care (PAC) throughout the health care system. Unfortunately, Nigerian adolescents are often unable to obtain adequate post-abortion care services due to numerous challenges and barriers. This study attempted to explore experiences with abortion and post abortion care services from the adolescents’ perspective which is the first step in enhancing optimal utilization of adolescents’ PAC services Methods: A qualitative exploratory research design was used. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with adolescent patients during hospitalization. The adolescent patients were duly counseled and informed consent obtained prior to the in-depth interview. Semi-structured interview guide was used for data collection and the data were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Findings from the interviews revealed that adolescents found it difficult to discuss issues of pregnancy and abortion with their parents or guardians due to fear, stigmatization or rejection. The adolescents experienced negligence of care, shame and stigma due to failure of health care providers to ensure privacy, as well as delay in treatment due to hospital protocol and non availability of prescribed drugs which significantly affected the PAC care services they received Conclusion: The adolescents experienced fear, shame, and stigmatization, negligence of care and lack of access to adequate PAC services. These findings highlight the need to review health actions directed towards adolescents with abortion complications and plan interventions aim at improving provision of adolescents’ friendly PAC services, in order to meet the reproductive health needs of these adolescents.