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Table 1 Signal function classification system: criteria for termination of pregnancy (TOP) and post-abortion care (PAC) in comparison to previously suggested SAC criteria

From: Signal functions for measuring the ability of health facilities to provide abortion services: an illustrative analysis using a health facility census in Zambia

  TOP capability PAC capability SAC capabilitya
  Basic Comp Basic Comp Basic (≤12 weeks) Comp (>12 weeks)
Vacuum aspiration X X    X X
Medication abortion X X    X X
Dilation & Curettage (D&C)       X
Dilation & Evacuation (D&E)   X     
Removal of retained products    X X X X
Parenteral antibiotics    X X X X
Uterotonics    X X X X
Intravenous fluids    X X X X
Blood transfusion     X   X
Surgical/laparotomy capability     X   X
Contraceptives (condoms + pills + injectables) X X X X   
Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs): implants or IUDs   X   X   
Family planning at least once per week X X     
Family planning 7 days a week    X X X X
Facility open 24 h per day, 7 days a week (24/7)    X X X X
1+ health professionals on duty X X X   a a
3+ health professionals registered (needed for 24/7 PAC service)    X   a a
1+ medical doctors on duty     X   a
3+ medical doctors registered (needed for 24/7 PAC service)     X   a
Communication means or referral capacity (for facilities without comprehensive PAC) X X X    
  1. comp comprehensive, iv intravenous, IUD intrauterine device
  2. aCriteria for safe abortion care (SAC) as defined by Healy and colleagues [8] are shown for comparison. In their classification system, staffing is implied by having service provision 24/7 but not stated explicitly