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01.12.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Reproductive Health 1/2017

Barriers or gaps in implementation of misoprostol use for post-abortion care and post-partum hemorrhage prevention in developing countries: a systematic review

Reproductive Health > Ausgabe 1/2017
Amir Ali Barket Ali Samnani, Narjis Rizvi, Tazeen Saeed Ali, Farina Abrejo
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12978-017-0383-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Around 303,000 maternal deaths occur every year; most of these are preventable (World Health Organization), ICD-10: International classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision. Volume 2: Instruction manual, 2010). Ninety-nine percent of these maternal deaths occur in developing countries. PPH contributed 35 % (35%) of total maternal. Several interventions being done to reduce the number of maternal deaths. It has been noted that a simple low cost intervention of providing misoprostol timely could prevent these deaths.


The objectives of this systematic review was to identify barriers/gaps in the implementation of misoprostol use for prevention of postpartum hemorrhage and management of Post-abortion care services in developing countries.


This study was a systematic review of published qualitative and quantitative literature on misoprostol in developing countries. Documents included were local and international peer reviewed articles and program reports on misoprostol implementation. PubMed, Google Scholars and Science direct databases were used along with Grey literature and manual search using terms “implementation gaps”, “misoprostol use”, “postpartum hemorrhage”, “post-abortion care” and “developing countries”.


Gaps or barriers in misoprostol use identified through systematic review can be categorized into six broader thematic areas including: inconsistency in supplies and its distribution; inadequate staffing; lack of knowledge of providers and end users, absence of the registration of drug and fear and apprehensions related to its use at provider and policy level.


It is concluded that barriers and gaps can be addressed through providing enabling environment through supportive policies, designing a formal plan for supplies, task shifting strategies and use of guidelines and protocols for successful implementation.
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