Predictors of abortions in Rural Ghana: a cross-sectional study

Type Journal Article - BMC Public Health
Title Predictors of abortions in Rural Ghana: a cross-sectional study
Volume 15
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 202
Abortion continues to be used as a method of family planning by many women. The complications of unsafe abortions are a major contributor to maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana. This study explored the influence of socio-demographic characteristics on abortions in 156 communities within the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS) area located in the middle part of Ghana.

A survey on Sexual and Reproductive Health among a representative sample of females aged 15–49 years was conducted in 2011. They were asked about the outcome of pregnancies that occurred between January 2008 and December 2011. Data on their socio-demographic characteristics including household assets were accessed from the database of the KHDSS. Univariate and multivariate random effects logistic regression models were used to explore the predictors of all reported cases of abortion (induced or spontaneous) and cases of induced abortion respectively.

A total of 3554 women were interviewed. Of this total, 2197 women reported on the outcomes of 2723 pregnancies that occurred over the period. The number of all reported cases of abortions (induced and spontaneous) and induced abortions were 370 (13.6%) and 101 (3.7%) respectively.

Unmarried women were more likely to have abortion as compared to married women (aOR = 1.77, 95% CI [1.21-2.58], p = 0.003). Women aged 20–29 years were 43% less likely to have abortion in comparison with those within the ages 13–19 years (aOR = 0.57, 95% CI [0.34-0.95], p = 0.030). Women with primary, middle/junior high school (JHS) and at least secondary education had higher odds of having abortion as compared to women without education. Compared with the most poor women, wealthiest women were three-fold likely to have abortion.

Unmarried women had higher odds of having induced abortion as compared to married women (aOR = 7.73, 95% CI [2.79-21.44], p < 0.001). Women aged 20–29 years, 30–39 years and 40–49 years were less likely to have induced abortion as compared to those 13–19 years of age.

Extra efforts are needed to ensure that family planning services, educational programs on abortion and abortion care reach the target groups identified in this study.

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