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Toolkit to Assess Reproductive Health Needs of Displaced Women

A new resource to assess the reproductive health needs of women displaced from conflict-affected regions throughout the world has been developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 80 percent of the world's refugees and internally displaced people are women and children. The new toolkit, Reproductive Health Assessment Toolkit for Conflict- Affected Women, is the response of the CDC's Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) to the ongoing need for resources that assist health, medical and government officials involved in refugee relief.

"Ensuring the reproductive health needs are met for women from conflict settings is a challenge, but we believe this toolkit is a positive step forward in generating information that can quickly identify and better address health needs of women affected by regional conflicts or public health emergencies," said CDC's Dr. Marianne Zotti, senior health scientist, Division of Reproductive Health, who developed the toolkit. "The resources in this toolkit will increase the ability of organizations to identify health issues, gauge the extent of health problems and take steps sooner to address health needs."

The toolkit will help support efforts of government and volunteer organizations, as well as United Nations agencies that provide reproductive health services to conflict-affected women. For example, in two refugee camps in Ethiopia, findings showed that the majority of women had experienced physical or sexual violence. To address this problem, briefings were held with camp workers and in the community to raise awareness regarding violence against women.

The toolkit can be used to collect and analyze data on safe motherhood, family planning, sexual history, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, female genital cutting, and emotional health. Results of the assessment can guide organizations in selecting, promoting, and enhancing pro
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