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Field manual covers reproductive health

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“Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a human right and, like all other human rights, applies to refugees, internally displaced persons, and others living in humanitarian settings. To realize this right, affected persons must have access to comprehensive SRH information and services so they are free to make informed choices about their health and well-being.”

So begins the 2018 Inter-Agency Field Manual (IAFM) on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings, regarded as the global standard for providing SRH services to people affected by events such as armed conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics, or famine. The manual—the third edition since 1999—was updated and written by an IAFM Task Force whose members come from United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions. The task force includes four members from Emory—Dabney Evans PhD MPH from Rollins School of Public Health, Eva Lathrop MD MPH from the School of Medicine, Lara Martin MA MPH from the Emory Center for Humanitarian Emergencies, and Sydney Spangler PhD CNM from the School of Nursing.

Emory experts provided significant input on chapters covering maternal and newborn health, gender-based violence, minimum initial service package (which outlines objectives and priorities when a crisis first occurs), logistics, and monitoring and evaluation.

Such expertise is sorely needed. “As of 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that the global forcibly displaced population exceeded 65 million for the first time in history,” the IAFM states. “Of those needing humanitarian assistance, approximately 1 in 4 are women and girls of reproductive age.”

Download a copy of the IAFM at emry.link/iafm3.

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