Background: Despite proven efficacy, Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) use for incomplete abortions is low in the Swaziland setting, including Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital. Uncertainty in the costs implications of introducing MVA to replace Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) is the major hindrance to change. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of introducing MVA as an evacuation method for first trimester incomplete miscarriages as well as assess the implications of the introduction of MVA to the entire post-abortion care budget at RFM Hospital.
Methods: The methods comprised cost-effectiveness and budget impact analyses from a healthcare perspective based on a theoretical cohort. Clinical outcomes data for procedures were obtained from relevant literature. Costs were collated from prospective suppliers and then compared for the two treatment modalities. Future numbers of annual evacuations were extrapolated from previous annual figures. First trimester miscarriages were in turn extrapolated from proportions found in previous studies. Total budgets were calculated under the current scenario, as well as if MVA had to be introduced.
Results: With initial capital costs of ZAR11 093.00, introduction of MVA for first trimester incomplete abortions will cut post-abortion care costs by 34.7%. MVA would cost ZAR819.86 per procedure while D&C costs ZAR1 255.40 per procedure. An estimated 26 MVA procedures done instead of D&C will compensate for the initial capital investment. Introduction of MVA into the post-abortion care programme will save the hospital about ZAR516 115.30 annually, with at least similar clinical outcomes compared to D&C.
Conclusions: MVA should be considered as the first option in first trimester post abortion care.