Many women who carried the burden of unwanted pregnancies, went to the informal service providers, often with disastrous consequences. There were no certified abortion facilities in the block when ARTH started its work. Given the need, ARTH decided to start the provision of safe abortion services. ARTH’s clinical facilities were certified by State Government in December 1999.
A gynaecologist visits the centres on fixed days twice a week from 10 AM to 4 PM throughout the year. First trimester MTP services are provided during those fixed days using MVA (manual vacuum aspiration) technique or by giving medical abortion drugs. ARTH opted for MVA rather than EVA, because of irregular electricity supply. A trained paramedic/nurse midwife acts as a back-up to address post MTP complications, if any. Two nurse midwives have a role in pre-MTP counselling, screening and follow up after the procedure. All MVAs are done without any anesthesia, only oral diazepam and analgesics are used, along with warm and friendly verbal reassurance and a caring approach.
Till March 2015, ARTH’s centres have provided MTPs to 2549 women using MVA technique and to 5254 women using medical abortion. The proportion of women seeking medical abortion has been steadily increasing over the last few years.