Wednesday 8 April 2020
Home      All news      Contact us     
reliefweb - 14 days ago

DR Congo: Sexual and reproductive health in Ebola response: a neglected priority

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo Source: ODI - Humanitarian Practice Network by Gillian McKay, Benjamin Black, Alice Janvrin and Erin Wheeler As of March 2020, the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had claimed more than 2,200 lives. Women and girls make up 56% of the almost 3,500 confirmed cases. Stopping transmission of the virus has been the primary focus for the Ministry of Health and responding agencies, often to the detriment of other critical health services, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Women, girls, men and boys continue to have SRH needs during conflicts and epidemics. Physiologically, women and girls bleed: due to menstruation, the side-effects of family planning and during abortions or obstetric emergencies. The case definition for Ebola includes spontaneous abortion and unexplained bleeding as criteria for isolation and testing. There is also significant overlap between the vague presenting symptoms of Ebola and pregnancy complications. The broad application of the case definition can therefore result in women and girls being prevented or delayed from getting appropriate (sometimes life-saving) care for non-Ebola health conditions, out of an overabundance of caution. Assessment of the impact of Ebola on SRH in DRC Between October and December 2019, the IRC conducted a programme assessment to document how the current DRC outbreak has impacted SRH access and provision, in order to develop concrete recommendations for this and future outbreaks. The assessment, which took place in five Ebola-affected health zones in North Kivu, involved group discussions and individual interviews with 120 people. Three routine health facilities were also evaluated for their SRH and Ebola readiness, and the team visited one Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC). The assessment was structured around the Interagency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP), a package of life-saving services implemented at the start of a humanitarian crisis to minimise negative SRH consequences, including maternal mortality and morbidity. Overall, it found that most SRH services were negatively affected by the outbreak. However, the negative effects of the outbreak on SRH have been mitigated over time in the 18 months since the start of the outbreak, with increased community sensitisation, testimonials from Ebola survivors about their treatment experience and deliberate hiring of Ebola response workers from local areas. See full report here


Latest News
Hashtags:   

Congo

 | 

Sexual

 | 

reproductive

 | 

health

 | 

Ebola

 | 

response

 | 

neglected

 | 

priority

 | 
Most Popular (6 hours)

Most Popular (24 hours)

Most Popular (a week)

Sources