A U.S. Fulbright student, Florby Dorme, has discovered that only 24.8 per cent internally displaced women in camps in Abuja have access to counseling even as 80.4 per cent of them heard of family planning.
The student made known the findings at a presentation on Thursday in the Rosa Parks Center at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja from his research on reproductive health access and use among women in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Abuja.
He conducted the research at camps located in Durumi, Waru and Kuje.
The research was conducted during his nine month program in Nigeria with the Well Being Africa Foundation among women of reproductive age in the three IDP camps.
According to the findings, displacement has reduced their access to reproductive health care and other pregnancy services like antenatal care.
In addition, Dorme said, 94 per cent of the women admitted that they needed increased knowledge in this area.
Dorme noted that the health of women in IDP camps should be a matter of concern because lack of services for them affects not only the women, but also involves their children and the community as a whole.
He said accessing health care services by women affected by conflict is difficult because of the condition of the health infrastructure in the host communities and the loss of livelihoods and property which limits their ability to make decisions about their health.
There are also social and cultural factors that affect women’s ability to make health-related decisions, he said.
The Fulbrighter suggested that health programming in vulnerable regions should expand information provision and counselling and include men, community leadership, as well as traditional and religious institutions.
He also called for the socio-economic empowerment of women and girls, which will mitigate the effects of insurgency and displacement.
The Fulbright program that funded Florby Dorme’s research in Nigeria is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Every year, the U.S. government sponsors travel for researchers and teaching staff around the world as part of the program.