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Responding to Reproductive Health Needs In Humanitarian Crises

Responding to Reproductive Health Needs In Humanitarian Crises

During humanitarian crises (such as armed conflicts, famine, epidemics and natural disasters), danger and uncertainty mean that access to quality reproductive health services is often severely limited. As a result, reproductive health issues become more pronounced and more urgent—including an increase in preventable maternal and child deaths due to lack of emergency obstetric care; sexual violence and trauma; unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions; and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

For this reason, the [Minimum Initial Service Package](http://raiseinitiative.org/library/pdf/fs_misp.pdf) (MISP) for Reproductive Health is an international standard designed to address the priority reproductive health needs of populations during the onset of emergency situations.

A [distance-learning module](http://www.iawg.net/resources/MISP2011.pdf) is provided to instruct emergency response teams in implementing a minimum set of reproductive health services, such as the distribution of clean birth kits and condoms, prevention of sexual violence and provision of care and support for survivors. The [online version](http://misp.rhrc.org/) of the learning module is interactive, containing quizzes and links to additional resources. The module is available in English, Spanish and French.

The MISP module is based primarily on [Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations: An Inter-agency Field Manual](http://www.iawg.net/resources/iawg_Field%20Manual_1999.pdf), first developed by the WHO, UNHCR and UNFPA in 1995 and revised in 1999. [Recent evaluations](http://www.unhcr.org/41c847b52.html) by UNHCR in Yemen, Republic of Congo and Uganda indicate that while humanitarian response teams are incorporating the MISP more than ever before, implementation must be significantly improved to ensure public health and safety during emergency situations.




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