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Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; 164 Suppl 1: 12-20, 2024 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38360032


The Maputo Protocol, adopted over 20 years ago, is a promising regional treaty for advancing gender equity and sexual and reproductive health and rights. This instrument has driven progress in women's health and rights across Africa, with much remaining to achieve to realize its full potential for women and girls, including access to safe abortion. The present paper shares the strategies and lessons from the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) reform centered on the domestication of the Protocol, specifically applying its commitments on abortion decriminalization and access. With a vision of addressing maternal mortality and rectifying the impacts of widespread sexual violence against women during war, abortion as a human right and health imperative was at the heart of the DRC's reform. Governmental commitment, broad coalition building, evidence generation, and an intersectional advocacy agenda were critical to overcoming opposition, stigma, and other challenges. This paper shares key learnings from the DRC's complex yet collaborative reform strategies and its processes. The strategy prioritized domestication of the Protocol for numerous reforms, including paving the path to legal abortion on the broad grounds of rape or incest, and saving women's health and/or life. With a commitment to maximizing quality, access, task sharing, and equity, progressive national comprehensive abortion guidelines were created alongside an implementation roadmap for accountability. The DRC's experience leveraging the Maputo Protocol's obligations to advance abortion rights and access offers valuable insights for consideration globally.

Aborto Induzido , Direitos da Mulher , Gravidez , Feminino , Humanos , República Democrática do Congo , Domesticação , Direitos Humanos , Aborto Legal
Sex Reprod Health Matters ; 31(1): 2273893, 2023 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37955526


Access to safe and comprehensive abortion care has the potential to save thousands of lives and prevent significant injury in a vast and populous country such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). While the signing of the Maputo Protocol in 2003 strengthened the case for accessible abortion care across the African continent, the DRC has grappled with de jure ambiguity resulting in de facto confusion about women's ability to access safe, legal abortion care for the past two decades. Conflicting laws and the legacy of the colonial penal code created ambiguity and uncertainty that has just recently been resolved through medical and legal advocacy oriented towards facilitating an enabling policy environment that supports reproductive healthcare. A study of the complex - and frequently contradictory - pathway from criminalised abortion to legalisation that DRC has taken from ratification of the protocol in 2008 to passage of the 2018 Public Health Law and subsequent Ministry of Health guidelines for abortion care, is an instructive case study for the international sexual health and reproductive rights community. Through this analysis, health and legal advocates can better understand the interdependence of law and public health and how a comprehensive approach to advocacy that includes legal, systems, and clinical accessibility can transform a country's system of care and the protection of women's rights. In DRC, new legislation and service delivery guidelines demonstrate a path forward towards concrete improvements for safe abortion care.

Aborto Induzido , Gravidez , Feminino , Humanos , República Democrática do Congo , Aborto Legal , Direitos da Mulher , Direitos Sexuais e Reprodutivos
Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; 163(2): 651-659, 2023 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37341207


OBJECTIVE: To determine how many times Ipas manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) instruments are reused, for what reasons, when the instruments are replaced and/or discarded, and what the barriers are to replacing them. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods cross-sectional study of health care providers who provide MVA services and key stakeholders in the supply chain to understand reuse and replacement of Ipas MVA aspirators and cannulae. Qualitative interviews focused on procurement and replacement of Ipas MVA instruments. RESULTS: The authors interviewed 352 health care providers from nine countries from 2019 to 2021. Providers reported reusing MVA instruments an average of 34.4 times (standard deviation, 45). The reuse averages ranged from one time (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to 500 times (India), with figures varying between providers within the same country. Instrument malfunctioning rather than a specific number of uses drove reuse and subsequent replacement. The decision to replace was most commonly made by the provider during use. Half of the providers said that they knew of no issues with the supply chain, and 85% said they were always able to replace Ipas MVA instruments when needed. CONCLUSION: Tracking reuse of MVA instruments was uncommon at participating providers' health facilities. Providers' estimates revealed great variability in reuse frequency and tracking procedures.

Aborto Induzido , Cânula , Reutilização de Equipamento , Curetagem a Vácuo , Feminino , Humanos , Gravidez , Aborto Induzido/métodos , Estudos Transversais , Pessoal de Saúde