Although simple, safe and effective interventions exist, 21.6 million unsafe abortions occur globally every year. Unsafe abortion continues to constitute a major mortality and morbidity burden especially in the developing world. Numerous barriers limit access to safe abortion – one of the most critical is the lack of trained providers.
The purpose of this guideline is to provide a range of options for expanding of health worker roles in the provision of safe abortion care, the management of complications of abortion (also known as post-abortion care in some settings and provided as part of emergency obstetric care) and for post-abortion contraception provision.
Planned and regulated task shifting and task sharing can ensure a rational optimization of the available health workforce, address health system shortages of specialized health-care professionals and improve equity in access to health care.
Most evidence-based interventions for safe abortion and post-abortion care in early pregnancy can be provided on an outpatient basis at the primary care level and by a wide range of non-specialist providers.
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