Sexual and reproductive health

BMA Medical Book Award for Clinical Practice Handbook for Safe Abortion

September 2015 - The BMA Medical Book Awards take place annually to recognise outstanding contributions to medical literature. Prizes are awarded in 21 categories. This year’s Book Awards were held on 3 September and WHO was awarded first prize for its "Clinical Practice Handbook for Safe Abortion" in the category for obstetrics and gynaecology.

Photo of Drs Gülmezoglu, Temmerman and Ganatra with BMA award
Drs A. Metin Gülmezoglu, Marleen Temmerman and Bela Ganatra (L-R) with BMA Medical Book Award

What the review says:

This is concise, relevant and inviting to use with clear, helpful and accurate content. It uses a concise yet thorough format, inviting presentation with generous spacing to allow for ease of access to information. The use of figures and diagrams to summarise information helps consolidate reader’s knowledge and understanding. A very portable design that could easily be used in the clinical setting. This book handles a difficult subject well. It gives clear facts that are well presented and ordered and the book is very ‘accessible’ to its reader. I would definitely use the book in the clinical setting.

Over the past 2 decades, the health evidence, technologies and human rights rationale for providing safe, comprehensive abortion care have evolved greatly. Despite these advances, an estimated 22 million abortions continue to be performed unsafely each year, resulting in the death of an estimated 47 000 women and disabilities for an additional 5 million women. Almost every one of these deaths and disabilities could have been prevented through sexuality education, family planning, and the provision of safe, legal induced abortion and care for complications of abortion.

The "Clinical practice handbook for safe abortion care" was developed to facilitate the practical application of the clinical recommendations that were published in the second edition of Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems, in 2012.

While legal, regulatory, policy and service-delivery contexts may vary from country to country, the recommendations and best practices described in both of these documents aim to enable evidence-based decision-making with respect to safe abortion care.

The award was presented by Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green Kt, BMA President.