New Clinical Handbook by WHO Supports Quality Abortion Care

The WHO has published a clinical handbook that aims to help health workers provide high-quality abortion services for women and girls. This publication offers comprehensive clinical advice to aid in implementing WHO's consolidated guidance on abortion care, published in 2022.

The handbook recognizes that abortion care extends beyond the procedure itself, encompassing the provision of information, counseling, pain management, post-abortion care, and contraception. Aligned with WHO's updated recommendations, the Clinical practice handbook for quality abortion care also provides expanded guidance on how health workers can support self-management approaches and utilize telemedicine where available.

The handbook highlights self-management as an option for medical abortion, which WHO endorses as a safe and effective method for terminating pregnancies. The medications used in medical abortion, mifepristone, and misoprostol, are included in WHO's Essential Medicines List. With appropriate support, women can manage some or all stages of medical abortion in the comfort of their own homes.

While this publication focuses primarily on the clinical aspects of abortion care, it also underscores the importance of supporting health workers to provide these services without fear of judgment or retribution. 

The newly launched clinical handbook supersedes the 2014 version and is relevant to various health workers involved in delivering abortion services, from midwives to physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. It was unveiled at the 33rd Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives in Bali, Indonesia.

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