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

Glen Kim, Rabih Torbay, Lynn Lawry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume97
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

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