During conflicts and displacement, the need for reproductive health services does not disappear. A new paper in BMC Health and Conflict reports on baseline findings from surveys of women in conflict settings in Uganda, Sudan, and the DRC.
The authors conclude:
Family planning services are a critical means of meeting women’s and men’s health needs and human rights in all countries of the world, including those affected by conflict. Data show a demand for spacing and limiting births among women in these sites, just as elsewhere in Africa; however, in these sites, the demand has far outstripped the available services. To fill this gap, family planning programs must be strengthened in sub-Saharan Africa, and refugees and displaced people must be included in national and donors’ health and development plans. Moreover, all parties must maintain a longterm perspective, particularly in conflict-affected states, since history shows that progress in meeting communities’ reproductive health needs has been slow even in countries at peace.