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How to Protect Maternal Health During the Refugee Crisis

It’s estimated that there are 22.5 million refugees as we speak, and lots of of them are women and youngsters. The ongoing refugee disaster has been a subject of dialogue throughout the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) occurring this week in New York City. During a aspect occasion on maternal health, panelists—together with Lynsey Addario, a photographer documenting the “Finding Home” collection for TIME Magazine—described the wants of women who’re between houses.

“People take for granted the fact that women give birth every day. What is that like for a woman on the run?” stated Addario, explaining her ongoing undertaking for TIME Magazine, which has adopted three Syrian refugees as they ready to give delivery and lift a toddler in a overseas land.

During the panel—hosted by TIME and Merck for Mothers—Addario described the maternal health issues she witnessed throughout her reporting, together with women giving start with extreme problems or coping with postpartum melancholy with out the essential assets.


“These women carry an extraordinary amount of pressure to provide for their families” says Addario. “To give birth and get up and go after giving birth. I’ve worked almost everywhere, and the one constant is that women are resilient and they are trying to hold their families together.”

Access to high quality health care, together with reproductive providers and emergency obstetric care is necessary when it comes to slicing again on the variety of women who die in childbirth, although it may be troublesome in the sorts of circumstances women live in at refugee camps round the world.

“It’s hard not to get emotional,” stated Dr. Hara Tziouvara, a pediatrician-neonatologist with Doctors of the World, who described her personal private expertise treating women in refugee camps. “Most of the women were dehydrated from hours at sea. They were malnourished, [without] everything a woman would need during their pregnancy.”

Before she turned the president of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca informed the viewers that she remembered the horror she witnessed on the shores of Malta, when a ship of 500 Syrian refugees capsized, and solely about 120 individuals survived.

“It was horrific experience,” she stated. “It was devastating. A 7-year-old boy who had seen his parents and siblings drown in front of his eyes.”

To enhance the health and outcomes of those moms, the panelists stated household planning care is necessary, in addition to entry to psychological health remedies.

“Having access to a doctor or clinic when something goes wrong [is important],” stated Addario. “There’s a lack of people on the ground. There are certain countries clearly taking the bulk of these refugees…They are being very generous helping the refugee population.”

Making refugee and migrant health a political precedence can also be important, argued Coleiro Preca.

“We need maternal health in our migration action plans,” she stated. “We need a holistic approach to it. The issue of maternal health is not a woman’s issue. It is a fundamental human rights issue.”

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