Article

International Family Planning Fellowship Program: Advanced Training in Family Planning to Reduce Unsafe Abortion

Associate Professor, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, .
International perspectives on sexual and reproductive health (Impact Factor: 1.06). 03/2013; 39(1):42-6. DOI: 10.1363/3904213
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Maternal mortality remains a huge problem in the developing world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.1 According to the World Health Organization, efforts intended to decrease maternal deaths need to recognize and address unsafe abortions as a significant contributor to the high rates of maternal mortality found in developing countries.2,3 In Africa, where abortions are highly restricted, 680 women die per 100,000 abortions, compared with 0.2-1.2 women per 100,000 in developed countries, where most abortions are legal.4.

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We assessed the public health effect of creating and sustaining obstetrics and gynecology postgraduate training in Ghana, established in 1989 to reverse low repatriation of physicians trained abroad. Methods. All 85 certified graduates of 2 Ghanaian university-based postgraduate training programs from program initiation in 1989 through June 2010 were identified and eligible for this study. Of these, 7 were unable to be contacted, inaccessible, declined participation, or deceased. Results. Of the graduates, 83 provide clinical services in Ghana and work in 33 sites in 8 of 10 regions; 15% were the first obstetrician and gynecologist at their facility, 25% hold clinical leadership positions, 50% practice in teaching hospitals, and 14% serve as academic faculty. Conclusions. Creating capacity for university-based postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology is effective and sustainable for a comprehensive global approach to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Policies to support training and research capacity in obstetrics and gynecology are an integral part of a long-term national plan for maternal health. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print December 19, 2013: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301581).
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