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Tran N.-T.,University of New South Wales | Dawson A.,University of Technology, Sydney | Meyers J.,International Medical Corps | Krause S.,Womens Refugee Commission | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Introduction. Institutions play a central role in advancing the field of reproductive health in humanitarian settings (RHHS), yet little is known about organizational capacity to deliver RHHS and how this has developed over the past decade. This study aimed to document the current institutional experiences and capacities related to RHHS. Materials and Methods. Descriptive study using an online questionnaire tool. Results. Respondents represented 82 institutions from 48 countries, of which two-thirds originated from low-and middle-income countries. RHHS work was found not to be restricted to humanitarian agencies (25%), but was also embraced by development organizations (25%) and institutions with dual humanitarian and development mandates (50%). Agencies reported working with refugees (81%), internally-displaced (87%) and stateless persons (20%), in camp-based settings (78%), and in urban (83%) and rural settings (78%). Sixtyeight percent of represented institutions indicated having an RHHS-related policy, 79% an accountability mechanism including humanitarian work, and 90% formal partnerships with other institutions. Seventy-three percent reported routinely appointing RH focal points to ensure coordination of RHHS implementation. There was reported progress in RHHSrelated disaster risk reduction (DRR), emergency management and coordination, delivery of the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP) for RH, comprehensive RH services in post-crisis/recovery situations, gender mainstreaming, and community-based programming. Other reported institutional areas of work included capacity development, program delivery, advocacy/policy work, followed by research and donor activities. Except for abortion-related services, respondents cited improved efforts in advocacy, capacity development and technical support in their institutions for RHHS to address clinical services, including maternal and newborn health, sexual violence prevention and response, HIV prevention, management of sexually-transmitted infections, adolescent RH, and family planning. Approximately half of participants reported that their institutions had experienced an increase in dedicated budget and staff for RHHS, a fifth no change, and 1 in 10 a decrease. The Interagency RH Kits were reportedly the most commonly used supplies to support RHHS implementation. Conclusion. The results suggest overall growth in institutional capacity in RHHS over the past decade, indicating that the field has matured and expanded from crisis response to include RHHS into DRR and other elements of the emergency management cycle. It is critical to consolidate the progress to date, address gaps, and sustain momentum. © 2015 Tran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Otoukesh S.,Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center | Mojtahedzadeh M.,Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center | Cooper C.J.,Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center | Tolouian R.,Eastern Virginia Medical School | And 6 more authors.
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2014

Background: Due to a paucity of research on the profile of kidney diseases among refugee populations, specifically Afghan refugees in Iran, this study aimed to illustrate the pattern of kidney disease among Afghan refugees in Iran and create a database for evaluating the performance of future health services.Material/Methods: This was a retrospective cross sectional study, in which we collected the demographics and profile of kidney diseases among Afghan refugees between 2005 and 2010 from referrals to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices in Iran.Results: The total number of referrals in this group of diseases was 3193 out of 23 152 with 41.5% female and 58.5% male. Regarding age distribution, 10.5% were 0-14 years of age, 78% were 15-59, and 11.5% were ³60. The most common health referral for females and males (0-14) was end-stage renal disease (ESRD), accounting for 34.6%. This was also the main reason of referrals for females and males aged 15-59, accounting for 73.5% and 66.6%, respectively, and in both sexes in the ³60 age range it was 63.1%.Conclusions: The pattern of our renal clinic referrals may gradually change to ESRD, which is associated with a huge economic burden. The need to provide health insurance to everyone or reform the health care system to provide coverage for more of the population can be justified and would improve cost effectiveness. © Med Sci Monit, 2014.

Ager A.,Columbia University | Burnham G.,Johns Hopkins University | Checchi F.,Save the Children UK | Gayer M.,World Health Organization | And 6 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Given the growing scale and complexity of responses to humanitarian crises, it is important to develop a stronger evidence base for health interventions in such contexts. Humanitarian crises present unique challenges to rigorous and effective research, but there are substantial opportunities for scientific advance. Studies need to focus where the translation of evidence from noncrisis scenarios is not viable and on ethical ways of determining what happens in the absence of an intervention. Robust methodologies suited to crisis settings have to be developed and used to assess interventions with potential for delivery at scale. Strengthening research capacity in the low- to middle-income countries that are vulnerable to crises is also crucial.

Epping-Jordan J.A.E.,World Health Organization | van Ommeren M.,World Health Organization | Ashour H.N.,Bank of The West | Maramis A.,Section on Community Psychiatry | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Mental Health Systems | Year: 2015

Background: Major gaps remain - especially in low- and middle-income countries - in the realization of comprehensive, community-based mental health care. One potentially important yet overlooked opportunity for accelerating mental health reform lies within emergency situations, such as armed conflicts or natural disasters. Despite their adverse impacts on affected populations' mental health and well being, emergencies also draw attention and resources to these issues and provide openings for mental health service development. Case description: Cases were considered if they represented a low- or middle-income country or territory affected by an emergency, were initiated between 2000 and 2010, succeeded in making changes to the mental health system, and were able to be documented by an expert involved directly with the case. Based on these criteria, 10 case examples from diverse emergency-affected settings were included: Afghanistan, Burundi, Indonesia (Aceh Province), Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste. Discussion and evaluation: These cases demonstrate generally that emergency contexts can be tapped to make substantial and sustainable improvements in mental health systems. From these experiences, 10 common lessons learnt were identified on how to make this happen. These lessons include the importance of adopting a longer-term perspective for mental health reform from the outset, and focusing on system-wide reform that addresses both new-onset and pre-existing mental disorders. Conclusions: Global progress in mental health care would happen more quickly if, in every crisis, strategic efforts were made to convert short-term interest in mental health problems into momentum for mental health reform. © 2015 Epping-Jordan et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

Navarro-Colorado C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Mahamud A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Burton A.,United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR | Haskew C.,UNHCR | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Background: The refugee complexes of Dadaab, Kenya, and Dollo-Ado, Ethiopia, experienced measles outbreaks during June-November 2011, following a large influx of refugees from Somalia. Methods: Line-lists from health facilities were used to describe the outbreak in terms of age, sex, vaccination status, arrival date, attack rates (ARs), and case fatality ratios (CFRs) for each camp. Vaccination data and coverage surveys were reviewed. Results: In Dadaab, 1370 measles cases and 32 deaths (CFR, 2.3%) were reported. A total of 821 cases (60.1%) were aged ≥15 years, 906 (82.1%) arrived to the camps in 2011, and 1027 (79.6%) were unvaccinated. Camp-specific ARs ranged from 212 to 506 cases per 100 000 people. In Dollo-Ado, 407 cases and 23 deaths (CFR, 5.7%) were reported. Adults aged ≥15 years represented 178 cases (43.7%) and 6 deaths (26.0%). Camp-specific ARs ranged from 21 to 1100 cases per 100 000 people. Immunization activities that were part of the outbreak responses initially targeted children aged 6 months to 14 years and were later expanded to include individuals up to 30 years of age. Conclusions: The target age group for outbreak response-associated immunization activities at the start of the outbreaks was inconsistent with the numbers of cases among unvaccinated adolescents and adults in the new population. In displacement of populations from areas affected by measles outbreaks, health authorities should consider vaccinating adults in routine and outbreak response activities. © The Author 2014.

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