postconflict settings

Kobe Refugee camp hosts roughly 39,000 refugees displaced from Somalia during the 2011–2012 Horn of Africa Crisis. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, as well as the greater issues of health and well-being for adolescents displaced from this crisis, remain largely unknown and neglected. In 2013, the Women’s Refugee Commission, Johns Hopkins University, and International Medical Corps in Ethiopia implemented qualitative and quantitative research to explore the factors and risks that impact the health of very young adolescents (VYAs), those 10–14 years of age, in this setting. This research identified several factors that were found to influence the health and well-being of VYAs in Kobe refugee camp, including newfound access to education and security, combined with gender divisions and parental communication around early SRH and puberty that remained intact from traditional Somali culture. Girls were found to face an additional risk of child marriage and early pregnancy since displacement, which significantly limited their ability to access education and achieve future aspirations.

We piloted an intervention that placed a people-centred health systems governance approach in the hands of multi-stakeholder committees that govern provincial and district health systems in Afghanistan. We report the results of this intervention from three provinces and eleven districts in Afghanistan over a six month period. This mixed-methods exploratory case study uses analysis of governance self-assessment scores, health management information system data on health system performance, and focus group discussions. The outcomes of interest are governance scores and health system performance indicators. We document the application of a people-centred health systems governance conceptual model based on applying four effective governing practices: cultivating accountability, engaging with stakeholders, setting a shared strategic direction, and stewarding resources responsibly. We found that health systems governance can be improved in fragile and conflict affected environments, and that consistent application of the effective governing practices is key to improving governance. Intervention was associated with a 20% increase in antenatal care visit rate in pilot provinces.

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