Public hospital costs of treatment of abortion complications in Nigeria
Unsafe abortion is a significant contributor to maternal mortality in Nigeria, and treatment of postabortion complications drains public healthcare resources. Provider estimates of medications, supplies, and staff time spent in 17 public hospitals were used to estimate the per-case and annual costs of postabortion care (PAC) provision in Ogun and Lagos states and the Federal Capital Territory. PAC with treatment of moderate complications (US $112) cost 60% more per case than simple PAC (US $70). In cases needing simple PAC, treatment with dilation and curettage (D&C, US $80) cost 18% more per case than manual vacuum aspiration (US $68). Annually, all public hospitals in these 3 states spend US $807 442 on PAC. This cost could be reduced by shifting service provision to an outpatient basis, allowing service provision by midwives, and abandoning the use of D&C. Availability of safe, legal abortion would further decrease cost and reduce preventable deaths from unsafe abortion.