Unsafe Abortion in Tanzania: A Review of the Evidence
What needs to be done to achieve Millennium Development Goal 5 of reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health care by 2015? This In Brief from the Guttmacher Institute argues that abortion-related deaths and unwanted pregnancies must be prevented by improving access to contraception, scaling up postabortion care services and making safe abortion services available. It provides an overview of facts and figures around induced abortion in Tanzania and highlights key actions for government and programme planners.
Eastern Africa has the highest regional unsafe abortion rate in Africa - 2.4 million unsafe induced abortions in 2008. Unsafe abortions are one of the leading causes of maternal deaths in Tanzania. Action needs to be taken in order to reduce the unmet need for contraception, ensuring family planning becomes more accessible. Health care workers need to be sensitised and trained to be able to provide safe abortion services within legally permitted circumstances. More research needs to be conducted, strengthening the evidence base for policymakers to get a better understanding of the extent of the problem of unsafe abortions in Tanzania.