Alba Merdani1, Dorina Toçi 1, Amarilda Hysenshahaj1, Besjan Elezaj1, Alban Ylli1,2
1 Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Aim: Since 2007, the Institute of Public Health (IPH) has established abortion surveillance in order to document the number and characteristics of the women obtaining abortions. IPH collects data on abortion based on the individual abortion form. Our objective was to analyze abortion indicators for the year 2018 in order to present a detailed picture of the current situation in Albania.
Methods: Updated national information on the incidence of abortion was received quarterly by public and private sector providers. Abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-49) and abortion ratio (abortions per 1,000 live births) were calculated using demographic and natality data from National Institute of Statistics.
Results: During the year 2018, a total of 5532 abortions were reported to the IPH. The abortion rate was 8.0 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49, and the abortion ratio was 191.2 abortions per 1,000 live births. Compare to previous year, an increase with 4.8% in the total number it is observed, mainly due to the beginning of reporting from private sector. Women aged 20-34 years accounted for the majority of abortions (66.4%). Regarding place of residence, the percent of abortions (compare to the total number) for women living in urban areas was 67.9%. The frequency of spontaneous abortions was 3.7 times higher than induced abortions.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the national abortion ratio and rate has declined over years. Ongoing abortion surveillance system is important to improve statistics gathering and support family planning programs. Keywords: abortions, abortion rate, abortion ratio, abortion surveillance.