Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Effects of conflict on women's reproductive health need to be managed sensitively

Date:
July 4, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Clinicians need to be sensitive and aware of the unique challenges of women's reproductive health needs in times of conflict, suggests a new review. Approximately 1.5 billion people are currently living in countries affected by conflict, fragility or large-scale violence. Women and children account for approximately 75% of those displaced by conflict and roughly 20% of those displaced are women of reproductive age and one in five will be pregnant.

Clinicians need to be sensitive and aware of the unique challenges of women's reproductive health needs in times of conflict, suggests a new review published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG).

Approximately 1.5 billion people are currently living in countries affected by conflict, fragility or large-scale violence. Women and children account for approximately 75% of those displaced by conflict and roughly 20% of those displaced are women of reproductive age and one in five will be pregnant.

This new review looks at how conflict can negatively impact all aspects of reproductive health, directly through damage to services, gender-based violence and forced displacement of populations and indirectly through reductions in the availability of basic healthcare.

The review states that gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), and maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity all flourish in times of conflict. Furthermore, the loss of access to adequate family planning and basic health services also increases reliance on traditional or harmful methods, including unsafe termination of pregnancy.

Looking at maternal mortality specifically, high rates are frequently encountered in conflict-affected populations; eight out of the ten countries with the highest maternal mortality ratios have experienced current or recent conflict. Moreover, the review notes that approximately 15% of displaced pregnant women will encounter a potentially life-threatening complication, such as haemorrhage, sepsis, obstructed labour or eclampsia.

The authors of the review therefore emphasise the importance of appropriate and timely recognition of, and response to, obstetric emergencies as the key to saving lives. However, in the context of conflict and displacement, services are often scarce, resulting in delays in reaching the care required. Furthermore, the poor security conditions, exodus of healthcare providers, lack of transport and loss of facilities result in heightened vulnerability and reduced access to life-saving interventions.

Clinicians in the UK may treat women migrating from conflict affected areas, and should therefore be sensitive to the reproductive health challenges faced by these women, the review states. The authors conclude by saying that awareness and recognition by medical staff to these issues may be beneficial to the women's care and aid them in accessing the appropriate services.

Dr Benjamin Black, Specialist Trainee in Obstetrics and Gynaecology currently working with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Sierra Leone, and lead-author of the review said:

"In an increasingly globalised world a working knowledge of reproductive health during conflict allows clinicians to approach subjects sensitively with women, building a relationship of trust and understanding, allowing women to gain access to services they need.

"Recognition and response to the reproductive health needs of women during humanitarian emergencies has advanced. However, much more needs to be done around the time of the crisis and post-crisis, and more awareness is needed of these issues."

Jason Waugh, TOG Editor-in-Chief added: "For twenty years, reproductive health has been formally recognised as a human right and this review highlights the importance of providing adequate services in conflict and displacement settings.

"Clinicians working in the UK will come across women who have experienced conflict zones who may have certain health needs as a result. Therefore, an understanding of the difficulties they may have faced will enhance the care given."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Benjamin O Black, Paul A Bouanchaud, Jenine K Bignall, Emma Simpson, Manish Gupta. Reproductive health during conflict. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/tog.12114

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Effects of conflict on women's reproductive health need to be managed sensitively." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140704134802.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, July 4). Effects of conflict on women's reproductive health need to be managed sensitively. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140704134802.htm
Wiley. "Effects of conflict on women's reproductive health need to be managed sensitively." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140704134802.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support by a California judge for their daughter Nahla. As women make strides in the workforce, they are increasingly left holding the bag when relationships end regardless of marital status. 'What Monied Women Need to Know Before Getting Married or Cohabitating' discusses information such as debt incurred during the marriage is both spouse's responsibility at divorce, whether after ten years of marriage spouses are entitled to half of everything and why property acquired within the marriage is fair game without a pre-nup. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfire Tears Through Washington

Raw: Wildfire Tears Through Washington

AP (July 18, 2014) A large wildfire continued to gain steam through north-central Washington Friday. The blaze is already responsible for the destruction of at least 100 homes. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins