Health Worker Task Shifting, Sharing Can Help Address Abortion Care Shortage, Along With Other Strategies

The Lancet: Preventing unsafe abortions through task shifting and sharing
Editorial Board

“…To address [the] shortage in abortion care, WHO launched [“Health worker roles in providing safe abortion care and post-abortion contraception”] on July 29 — its first guideline to give evidence-based recommendations on the safety, effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of involving a range of health workers in the delivery of effective interventions. … Consistent evidence has shown many of the interventions for safe abortion and contraception can be provided in primary care settings, and task shifting and sharing is an important public health strategy. However, such an approach will need substantial investment, standardized training, supportive supervision, and certification and assessment. Furthermore, task shifting and sharing alone will not resolve the health workforce crisis in preventing unsafe abortions, and should be implemented alongside other strategies designed to reduce unintended pregnancy through contraception education and increase the total numbers of health workers in all cadres” (8/8).