Abortion remains one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the developing world. Midwives are more likely to provide services to more than half of the world’s population residing in rural areas than other healthcare providers. When properly trained, midwives are able to safely provide manual vacuum aspiration (MVA). As part of a larger study, final-year midwifery students took part in a computer-based survey and were asked about the training and education they received related to MVA. 93 students completed the survey questions related to MVA. 60.2% reported that they are either “very likely” or “likely” to provide this service once they graduate. Only 5 students indicated they had an opportunity to practice the skill during their training. The most common reason for answering “definitely will not” provide MVA was religious beliefs. In Ghana, midwifery students are being taught manual vacuum aspiration, although they are not being given adequate opportunity for supervised experiences. This raises the issue of how well prepared they are to provide this service following graduation. To address the continuing problem of unsafe abortion, midwifery training colleges in Ghana should establish a mechanism to expose students to additional simulation and clinical experiences.
Keywords: Midwifery, Ghana, Africa, abortion, maternal health.
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