Women's sexual and reproductive health during humanitarian crisis tackled at international conference

Posted by ap507 at Nov 30, 2016 11:29 AM |
Research project aims to reduce the number of women falling ill or dying as a result of complications from unsafe menstrual regulation, unsafe abortion and post abortion care in flood-prone areas in Bangladesh

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 30 November 2016

An image of Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett is available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s09an37g7pxa1d8/AAARJ7nTD3UyTq2AwvIkc9LQa?dl=0

A University of Leicester academic has represented her research on sexual and reproductive health protection for women at an international event in New Delhi attended by 4000 participants and inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction supported by UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction), ensures political and stakeholder commitment towards disaster risk reduction (DRR).

After winning a competitive bid with UNISDR and the Royal Thai Government, Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett was invited to present her research for the Thematic Session on ‘Health and DRR’. Dr Ray-Bennett’s research is funded by International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Innovation Programme project entitled ‘Improvement of Menstrual Regulation (MR) and Safe Post-Abortion Care (PAC) Services through an Integrated Intervention Approach during Flood in Rural Bangladesh’ was presented at the event.

The research project is a collaboration between IPPF’s South Asia Regional Office, IPPF’s SPRINT Initiative (Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme in Crisis and Post Crisis Situations), University of Leicester and icddr,b.

Dr Ray-Bennett said: “The research project aims to reduce the number of women falling ill or dying as a result of complications from unsafe menstrual regulation (MR)/unsafe abortion/post abortion care (PAC) in flood-prone areas in Bangladesh, through an integrated intervention package including pre-positioning of UNFPA’s Interagency Reproductive Health Kit 8, capacity building of health service providers and community awareness-raising.”

She added that the thematic discussion on the implementation of the health aspects of the Sendai Framework for DRR, was aimed to assess the current status of the integration of the health sector and the disaster risk reduction community, discuss best practices of affected countries and identify measures for implementation of the health aspects of the Sendai Framework in an all-hazards approach.

The outcome document, entitled, ‘The Bangkok Principles for the Implementation of the Health Aspects of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’, opens opportunities for collaboration between sectors and stakeholders on implementing the health aspects of the Sendai Framework, integration of health in DRR plans and strategies and positioning of health as a key area of focus for DRR.

IPPF SPRINT’s project Director, Aditi Ghosh, explained: “The presentation was well received as the only presentation on sexual and reproductive health during humanitarian crisis. It was also notably the only example of collaborative work in the Thematic Session on ‘Health and DRR’ between practitioners and academia. 

“We were able to advocate for sexual and reproductive health in various sessions, including gender & DRR and also Health & DRR, and were able to ensure sexual and reproductive health language in the stakeholders’ consultation document, which should now also be present in the final outcome document.”

The key findings of this thematic session fed into the Asia Regional Plan which is dubbed to strengthen political commitment in the region on DRR, as well as generate a series of action statements for an ‘all of society approach’ in order to build disaster resilience (UNISDR, 2016).

You can read more about Dr Ray-Bennett’s research here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2015/november/new-project-to-help-reduce-unsafe-abortion-death-rates-in-disaster-zones

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