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  • Exploring resource scarcity and contextual influences on wellbeing among young refugees in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement, Uganda: findings from a qualitative study

    Carmen H. Logie; Moses Okumu; Maya Latif; Daniel Kibuuka Musoke; Simon Odong Lukone; Simon Mwima; Peter Kyambadde (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background Contextual factors including poverty and inequitable gender norms harm refugee adolescent and youths’ wellbeing. Our study focused on Bidi Bidi refugee settlement that hosts more than 230,000 of Uganda’s 1.4 million refugees. We explored contextual factors associated with wellbeing among refugee adolescents and youth aged 16–24 in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement. Methods We conducted 6 focus groups (n = 3: women, n = 3: men) and 10 individual interviews with young refugees aged 16–24 living in Bidi Bidi. We used physical distancing practices in a private outdoor space. Focus groups and individual interviews explored socio-environmental factors associated with refugee youth wellbeing. Focus groups were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded by two investigators using thematic analysis. Analysis was informed by a social contextual theoretical approach that considers the interplay between material (resource access), symbolic (cultural norms and values), and relational (social relationships) contextual factors that can enable or constrain health promotion. Results Participants included 58 youth (29 men; 29 women), mean age was 20.9 (range 16–24). Most participants (82.8%, n = 48) were from South Sudan and the remaining from the Democratic Republic of Congo (17.2% [n = 10]). Participant narratives revealed the complex interrelationships between material, symbolic and relational contexts that shaped wellbeing. Resource constraints of poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment (material contexts) produced stress and increased sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) targeting adolescent girls and women. These economic insecurities exacerbated inequitable gender norms (symbolic contexts) to increase early marriage and transactional sex (relational context) among adolescent girls and young women. Gendered tasks such as collecting water and firewood also increased SGBV exposure among girls and young women, and this was exacerbated by deforestation. Participants reported negative community impacts (relational context) of COVID-19 that were associated with fear and panic, alongside increased social isolation due to business, school and church closures. Conclusions Resource scarcity produced pervasive stressors among refugee adolescents and youth. Findings signal the importance of gender transformative approaches to SGBV prevention that integrate attention to resource scarcity. These may be particularly relevant in the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings signal the importance of developing health enabling social contexts with and for refugee adolescents and youth.
  • A case analysis of partnered research on palliative care for refugees in Jordan and Rwanda

    Sonya de Laat; Olive Wahoush; Rania Jaber; Wejdan Khater; Emmanuel Musoni; Ibraheem Abu Siam; Lisa Schwartz; the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background This case analysis describes dilemmas and challenges of ethical partnering encountered in the process of conducting a research study that explored moral and practical dimensions of palliative care in humanitarian crisis settings. Two contexts are the focus of this case analysis: Jordan, an acute conflict-induced refugee situation, and Rwanda, a protracted conflict-induced refugee setting. The study’s main goal was to better understand ways humanitarian organizations and health care providers might best support ethically and contextually appropriate palliative care in humanitarian contexts. An unintended outcome of the research was learning lessons about ethical dimensions of transnational research partnerships, which is the focus of this case analysis. Discussion There exist ongoing challenges for international collaborative research in humanitarian conflict-induced settings. Research partnerships were crucial for connecting with key stakeholders associated with the full study (e.g., refugees with life limiting illness, local healthcare providers, aid organization representatives). While important relationships were established, obstacles limited our abilities to fully attain the type of mutual partnership we aimed for. Unique challenges faced during the research included: (a) building, nurturing and sustaining respectful and equitable research partnerships between collaborators in contexts of cultural difference and global inequality; (b) appropriate ethics review and challenges of responding to local decision-maker’s research needs; and (c) equity and fairness towards vulnerable populations. Research strategies were adapted and applied to respond to these challenges with a specific focus on (d) research rewards and restitution. Conclusions This case analysis sheds light on the importance of understanding cultural norms in all research roles, building relationships with decision makers, and developing teams that include researchers from within humanitarian crisis settings to ensure that mutually beneficial research outcomes are ethical as well as culturally and contextually relevant.
  • In the era of humanitarian crisis, young women continue to die in childbirth in Mali

    Pierre Coulibaly; Clémence Schantz; Brehima Traoré; Nanko S. Bagayoko; Abdoulaye Traoré; Fanny Chabrol; Oumar Guindo (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Maternal mortality occurs mostly in contexts of poverty and health system collapse. Mali has a very high maternal mortality rate and this extremely high mortality rate is due in part to longstanding constraints in maternal health services. The central region has been particularly affected by the humanitarian crisis in recent years, and maternal health has been aggravated by the conflict. Sominé Dolo Hospital is located in Mopti, central region. In the last decade, a high number of pregnant or delivering women have died in this hospital. We conducted a retrospective and exhaustive study of maternal deaths occurring in Mopti hospital. Between 2007 and 2019, 420 women died, with an average of 32 deaths per year. The years 2014–2015 and the last 2 years have been particularly deadly, with 40 and 50 deaths in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The main causes were hypertensive disorders/eclampsia and haemorrhage. 80% of these women’s deaths were preventable. Two major explanations result in these maternal deaths in Sominé Dolo’s hospital: first, a lack of accessible and safe blood, and second, the absence of a reference and evacuation referral system, all of which are aggravated by security issues in and around Mopti. Access to quality hospital care is in dire need in the Mopti region. There is an urgent need for a safe blood collection system and free of charge for pregnant women. We also strongly recommend that the referral/evacuation system be reinvigorated, and that universal health coverage be strengthened.
  • Publisher Correction to: Challenges and strategies in conducting sexual and reproductive health research among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

    Rushdia Ahmed; Bachera Aktar; Nadia Farnaz; Pushpita Ray; Abdul Awal; Raafat Hassan; Sharid Bin Shafique; Md Tanvir Hasan; Zahidul Quayyum; Mohira Babaeva Jafarovna (BMC, 2020-12-01)
    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
  • Improving pharmacy practice in relation to complementary medicines: a qualitative study evaluating the acceptability and feasibility of a new ethical framework in Australia

    Amber Salman Popattia; Laetitia Hattingh; Adam La Caze (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background There is a need for clearer guidance for pharmacists regarding their responsibilities when selling complementary medicines. A recently published ethical framework provides guidance regarding the specific responsibilities that pharmacists need to meet in order to fulfil their professional obligations and make a positive contribution to health outcomes when selling complementary medicines. Objective Evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a new ethical framework for the sale of complementary medicines in community pharmacy. Methods Australian community pharmacists were invited to participate in online focus groups and interviews. Participants were recruited via multiple methods, including social media and the professional networks of pharmacy groups. Participants were provided the ethical framework prior to the discussion. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results Seventeen community pharmacists participated in the study (11 in 4 focus groups and 6 in individual interviews). There was good representation among participants in terms of gender, years of practice, pharmacy location and script volume. Participants differed in how proactive they were in relation to selling and providing advice on complementary medicines, how they interpreted evidence in relation to complementary medicines, and how they navigated their practice within the retail environment of community pharmacy. The majority of participants found the framework was acceptable for practice and was feasible for implementation with targeted support. Participants identified two important areas for targeted support in implementing the framework: improved access to evidence-based information resources on complementary medicines and independent evidence-based education and training on complementary medicine for pharmacists and pharmacy support staff. Conclusion The ethical framework addresses an important gap in providing specific professional guidance to pharmacists when selling complementary medicines. The results of the study suggest that the framework may be acceptable to community pharmacists and be feasible to implement with targeted support.

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