Online Program

Systematic Review of Reproductive Health Services Provision for Nomadic Populations

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Subasri Narasimhan, MPH, Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Nomads are among the most geographically isolated, socially marginalized, and educationally disadvantaged populations worldwide.  Logistical challenges keep them off the radar of government health ministries and public health planners.  This systematic review assesses current literature related to health service provision for nomadic populations, with special focus around issues of reproductive health. 

Methods: Electronic databases including PubMed and Web of Science were reviewed for key terms including “nomads”, “pastoralists”,  “health services”, and “reproductive health”. The review included quantitative and qualitative studies published between 1980-2014, and excluded studies of displaced persons and refugees. Information was then analyzed to identify recurrent themes, services and theoretical applications.

Results: The review yielded approximately 100 studies.  A large proportion of studies focused on Sub-Saharan Africa contexts.  Analysis of these studies identified commonalities in theoretical frameworks and the types of health services provided. Studies revealed very little information on reproductive health in this population.  A significant amount of work was concentrated on three main areas, 1) identification of specific negative health outcomes 2) affect of changes in ecological or pastoral environments 3) gendering of health resources.   

Conclusion: Nomads are an underserved and understudied population due to logistical challenges. Yet as a group they are faced with some of the most pressing public health concerns of modern times.  This review indicates that services provided to nomads are minimal, leaving people at risk for complications not present in their non-nomadic counterparts.  Gaps in the literature of health services provision, specifically for reproductive health must be addressed.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare health delivery services, specifically those in reproductive health, for nomadic populations in differing global regions.

Keyword(s): Health Care Delivery, Underserved

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently working on a project related to nomadic populations as a PhD student at UCLA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.