In this study ARTH, in partnership with WHO, is examining how improved linkages between the community and health care facilities may help women access safe abortion services and reduce morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortion. Community Health Workers (CHW) have been trained to provide, among other health services, maternal health services, family planning, and HIV and TB medication assistance in communities.
CHW could potentially provide women with safe medical abortion guidance by educating, identifying and referring women who could use the method to a clinic. Many women are either unaware that medical abortion services are available in clinics or are misinformed about the method. In this study, CHWs will be equipped with a “referral toolkit’ in an attempt to assess women’s eligibility for early medical abortion as well as identify women who need follow-up care and refer both cases to clinics for treatment. The toolkit will be a small, portable evaluation checklist that community workers can easily carry with them and will be inexpensive for countries to reproduce. We are developing the toolkit for local CHWs and testing whether it works effectively when used by CHWs.
Generating evidence on ways to expand women’s access to safe abortion services, thereby reducing unsafe abortion, is a priority research area for the RHR team on Preventing Unsafe Abortion (PUA).
We have completed the pilot study phase of this project and will commence the full study by mid-August.
We are currently recruiting for this project.