WHO: New clinical handbook launched to support quality abortion care

17 June, 2023

Below are the opening paragraphs of a WHO news release. Read online: https://www.who.int/news/item/12-06-2023-new-clinical-handbook-launched-...


12 June 2023 Departmental news

The World Health Organization (WHO) today released a new handbook for health workers to help them deliver quality abortion services for women and girls. The publication provides detailed clinical advice to support implementation of WHO’s consolidated guidance on abortion care, published in 2022.

Clinical services relating to abortion include not only the procedure itself, but also the provision of information and counselling, pain management and post-abortion care, including contraception. In line with WHO’s updated recommendations, the Clinical practice handbook for quality abortion care additionally provides expanded guidance on how health workers can support self-management approaches, and telemedicine, where this is available.

HRP at 50 logo “Health workers have a critical role to play in delivering quality abortion care that respects women and girls’ choices and meets their needs,” said Dr Pascale Allotey, WHO’s Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research and Head of the United Nations’ Special Programme for Human Reproduction (HRP). “This guide aims to help health workers provide safe, timely and effective services for abortion, while treating women and girls with dignity and respecting their rights.”

Self-management is an option for providing medical abortion, which WHO recommends as a safe and effective method for ending a pregnancy. The medications used – mifepristone and misoprostol - are included in WHO’s Essential Medicines List. With appropriate support, women can self-manage some or all stages of a medical abortion - for example, in the comfort of their own home...


HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: neil@hifa.org