XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
In Kenya, health policies emphasize enhancement of community access to health care and the empowerment of communities to demand services from providers as an approach to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. This paper describes an innovative experiment geared toward addressing a critical public health issue—postabortion care (PAC)—within Kenya’s current policy context. The paper uses data from a pre-and post-intervention, quasi-experimental study conducted in six communities in Naivasha, Kenya, from 2010 to 2012 to examine the effects of this intervention. Information was collected through a community-based survey with 593 and 647 women aged 18-49 at baseline and endline, respectively. Semi-structured interviews with providers and qualitative interviews and discussions with the wider community were also conducted. The findings indicate that the intervention was effective in: increasing women’s awareness of danger signs in early pregnancy; providers being able to effectively offer PAC services at lower-level facilities; raising awareness of PAC; women seeking and obtaining PAC services at lower-level facilities; and inspiring communities to take action for their own health. The findings highlight the fact that heightening community awareness and mobilization is essential for strengthening post-abortion care.
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