CARE International in Pakistan
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PPA Health

Despite the fact that abortion rate is high, few women in Pakistan seek care after abortion and many of them avail the services at un-trained and unsafe conditions and are very reluctant to use family planning to avoid unintended pregnancies and abortions. This research was conceived to understand the social factors, attitudes, beliefs and other barriers that hinder women to seek post-abortion care and use family planning. It examined and measured the presence and intensity of abortion stigma in selected regions and provided a succinct quantitative measure of it among individuals, at community level and particularly among health service provider’s levels at public health facilities. It sought to understand how this stigma is perceived and experienced by women who terminate an unintended pregnancy and influences her subsequent disclosure behavior. It examined how abortion stigma (Stigmatization of attitudes and beliefs) is created across levels of human interaction, made manifest for different individuals within groups and across groups and thereby meant to deepen our understanding of the phenomenon and its multiple manifestations.

Objectives

  • Enhance understanding of abortion-stigma by researching through focus group discussions with men and women about attitudes and beliefs about abortion and post abortion care services in their community
  • Use findings to develop a scale to measure abortion stigma that can be used in the evaluation and/or designing of stigma reduction interventions
  • Overcome the barriers of stigmatization of abortion and post-abortion care at individual, household, community, health provider and district health department through capacity building activities
  • Provincial and district government officials informed on the findings of the research including barriers, underlying factors, attitude and stigma towards post-abortion.
  • Contribution in the scientific knowledge on abortion-stigma in context of Pakistan

Outcomes

  • Development of a scale of three dimensions to measure individuals’ attitudes, beliefs and actions towards women who terminate a pregnancy: 1) negative stereotyping and labelling, 2) exclusion and discrimination, and 3) fear of impurity
  • Interface meetings with researchers and academia, Community leaders/elders – religious and community leaders –at district level.
  • An advocacy seminar based on research findings held at the provincial level which included like-minded organizations working on health and post-abortion care, CSOs, academia, government, practitioners, policy and decision makers as well as private sector.
  • Round Table with opinion leader, formal and informal institutions through PAPAC.
  • Publication of research, development of research briefs and dissemination to relevant forums such as Village Health Committees, Civil Society, INGOs, donors.
  • 40 health professionals (Doctor, Nurses, LHV/CMW) (50% female) trained on Vales clarification and attitude transformation (VCAT)

Time frame: November 2014 to March 2016

Location: Multan and Muzaffargarh, Punjab 

Donor: Department for International Development (DIFD) - through CI UK

Budget: 80,000(GBP)

Cost: 70,295(GBP)

Implementing Partner: IDEA

Beneficiaries: Direct: 1240 Indirect: 3326235