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Am J Public Health. 2007 Feb;97(2):353-61. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Basic health, women's health, and mental health among internally displaced persons in Nyala Province, South Darfur, Sudan.

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  • 1Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center, Veterans Affairs Boston Health Care System, Boston, Mass, USA.

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.

PMID:
17138925
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1781379
Free PMC Article
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