A Syrian refugee woman is holding the baby in her arms. The baby was born three days ago in a derelict factory at Bekka, Lebanon.
Photo: ©2013 Jihee Park/World Vision
Pregnant women have been one of the most impacted refugee groups in the Syrian conflict. In the midst of the crisis in Syria, refugee pregnant women are in need of urgent medical attention. Prior to the start of the civil war, women in Syria were receiving adequate health care as the country had a well functioning health care system. Family planning was free and used relatively widely by 58 percent of Syrian women
. However, since the start of the war this system has collapsed leaving Sryian women with little to no access to medical attention. Seventy percent of Syria’s medical professionals have fled
the country leaving few options for refugees. This statistic is considerable as there are currently over 400,000 civilians displaced and it is estimated that hundreds of pregnant women are in desperate need of health care. This dilemma is only going to become more prominent as the war in Syria drags on. According to the UN Population Fund, 250,000 refugee women in Syria will become pregnant by the end of this year due to the lack of access to contraception and family planning.
This is not the first time refugee women have been denied access to proper health care. When communities are forced to leave their homes women have to give birth alone, and some 15 percent of deliveries are likely to result in life-treating complications and require emergency obstetric care which only a doctor or midwife can provide. Furthermore, women who are refugees can face a greater risk of death and disability during pregnancy. Delivery is also more likely to be complicated if women have dealt with significant trauma. Many women who have fled from conflict have hindered their potential to having a safe delivery because of the stress they have endured.
World Vision understands the severity of this issue and we are currently reaching more than 220,000 people across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan with health services, emergency supplies, clean water, sanitation and child protection support.