Women and children suffer disproportionately in armed conflicts. Since 2011, the protracted Syrian crisis has fragmented the pre-existing healthcare system. Despite the massive health needs of women and children, the delivery of key reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH&N) interventions, and its underlying factors are not well understood in Syria.
Researchers from the Center for Research on Population and Health at the Faculty of Health Sciences and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine documented the provision and coverage of RMNCAH&N interventions and explored the factors that influenced their implementation in Syria during conflict. This study was part of a multi-country study coordinated by the BRANCH Consortium (Bridging Research and Action in Conflict Settings for the Health of Women and Children) and focused on RMNCAH&N in 10 conflict-affected countries.
Key findings showed that humanitarian organizations operating in Syria adopted a complex multi-hub structure, and some resorted to remote management to improve accessibility to certain geographic areas. While the emergency response prioritized trauma care and infectious disease control, with time humanitarian organizations successfully advocated for prioritizing maternal and child health and nutrition interventions, given evident needs. Given the glaring data gaps and geographic variations in available data, researchers highlighted the need for representative data at all levels (i.e. national, governorate and sub-governorate levels) and reliable population-level data on RMNCAH&N to hold humanitarian actors to account, with an ultimate aim of improving the health of women, children and adolescents in Syria.
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