Increasing the availability of safe abortion in Kyrgyzstan

WHO

During the last 10 years, Kyrgyzstan has invested highly in analysing and improving reproductive and maternal health.

On 25 April 2016 the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan and WHO disseminated findings from a project that trained midwives to provide safe medical abortion up to 9 weeks of gestation to women living in rural, underserved areas of the country. This project was in response to a priority recommendation made following a national strategic assessment of prevention and management of unintended pregnancy conducted in 2011. It is also in line with the European policy and strategic framework Health 2020 and its goal to reduce health inequalities.

The project aim was to demonstrate the feasibility, effectiveness, and acceptability of training and supporting midwives to provide medical abortions in feldsher midwifery points based in rural areas as a strategy to increase the availability of safe abortion services to underserved population groups.

The primary objective was to demonstrate that midwives can successfully provide a combination of 2 medications mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortion, and make appropriate referrals for women who prefer vacuum aspiration or medical abortion provided by a physician, or who require assistance of a specialist due to certain health conditions.

Results showed that this approach was successful in 98% of cases (total of 554 women). These exceptionally positive results have persuaded decision-makers in Kyrgyzstan to begin closely examining how to formally introduce provision of reproductive health services by midwifes and expand them to women throughout the country.