Basic Health, Women's Health, and Mental Health Among Internally Displaced Persons in Nyala Province, South Darfur, Sudan

Citation:

Kim, Glen, Rabih Torbay, and Lynn Lawry. 2007. “Basic Health, Women’s Health, and Mental Health Among Internally Displaced Persons in Nyala Province, South Darfur, Sudan.” American Journal of Public Health 97 (2): 353–61.

Authors: Glen Kim, Rabih Torbay, Lynn Lawry

Abstract:

Objectives. We assessed basic health, women’s health, and mental health among Sudanese internally displaced persons in South Darfur.

Methods. In January 2005, we surveyed 6 registered internally displaced persons camps in Nyala District. Using systematic random sampling, we surveyed 1293 households, interviewing 1 adult female per household (N=1274); respondents’ households totaled 8643 members. We inquired about respondents’ mental health, opinions on women’s rights, and the health status of household members.

Results. A majority of respondents had access to rations, shelter, and water. Sixty-eight percent (861 of 1266) used no birth control, and 53% (614 of 1147) reported at least 1 unattended birth. Thirty percent (374 of 1238) shared spousal decisions on timing and spacing of children, and 49% (503 of 1027) reported the right to refuse sex. Eighty-four percent (1043 of 1240) were circumcised. The prevalence of major depression was 31% (390 of 1253). Women also expressed limited rights regarding marriage, movement, and access to health care. Eighty-eight percent (991 of 1121) supported equal educational opportunities for women.

Conclusions. Humanitarian aid has relieved a significant burden of this displaced population’s basic needs. However, mental and women’s health needs remain largely unmet. The findings indicate a limitation of sexual and reproductive rights that may negatively affect health.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2007

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