July 13, 2011
Family Planning In Conflict
Many areas of the world are at war and both the conflict and aftermath have dire consequences for the health of people affected. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Conflict and Health reports that while women in war-torn areas want access to family planning, these services are often not available at local hospitals or health centers. This can lead to further deprivation and unintended pregnancy.
It is often the case that political disturbances occur in areas of the world where access to health care is poor even before the conflict began. Violence and destruction disrupt heath services even further and access to facilities which can provide safe delivery, emergency caesarean sections, treat complications of pregnancy and childbirth and offer family planning services becomes limited for those who flee and those who remain behind. Women and girls who are raped, or are subjected to other violence, resulting in emotional and physical trauma are also vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy and STIs, including HIV.
Therese McGinn, an Associate Professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University and Director of the RAISE Initiative, New York, said that, "It is clear that many women are unable to obtain family planning services during a time when few would choose to become pregnant, and women who have complications due to unsafe abortions have no access to treatment. Consequently it is vitally important that family planning services are made available for conflict-affected men and women as part of strengthening local health services and aid packages."
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