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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4210.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 3:30 PM

Abstract #116752

Life-saving reproductive health care for sudanese refugees in Chad: Ignored and neglected

Sandra Krause, RN, MPH, Director, Reproductive Health Project, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, 122 E. 42nd Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10168, 212.551.3110, sandra@womenscommission.org, Julia Matthews, MPH, Reproductive Health Project, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, 122 E 42nd Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10168, and Wilma Doedens, MD, MPH, Technical Adviser, Humanitarian Response Unit, United Nations Population Fund, 11 Chemin des Anemones, CH-1219 Chatelaine, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children and the United Nations Population Fund conducted an assessment of the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP) of reproductive health (RH) services among Sudanese refugees in Chad in April 2004. The MISP is the standard required in the initial phase of an emergency to coordinate RH services, prevent and manage the consequences of sexual violence, reduce HIV transmission, prevent excess maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, and plan for comprehensive RH services. The assessment team conducted semi-structured interviews with 53 field staff, facilitated ten focus group discussions with 108 refugee women, men and adolescents and observed services in twelve health facilities. Activities were carried out in four refugee camps and four spontaneous refugee settlements along the eastern Chad border. Assessment findings revealed that most humanitarian actors were not familiar with the MISP and RH coordination was absent. Despite widespread reports of women and girls abducted and raped in Darfur, survivors of sexual violence were not being identified or provided clinical care. Priority activities to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission were nonexistent or limited. None of the three interventions to prevent maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality were fully established. In addition to lack of awareness about the MISP among humanitarian actors, other factors, such as a lack of donor and United Nations awareness and support, hindered timely implementation of the MISP. The implementation of the MISP, a SPHERE standard of care, is essential to prevent morbidity and mortality, particularly among women in all emergency settings.

Learning Objectives: After this session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Refugees, International Reproductive Health

Related Web page: www.womenscommission.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Issues of Security and Political Context in Addressing the Needs of Refugees and Immigrants

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA