Reproductive health services for refugees by refugees: an example from Guinea

Disasters. 2010 Jan;34(1):16-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2009.01112.x.


The need to involve refugees in their own reproductive health (RH) services has long been recognised, but there is a lack of published examples describing how this can be achieved collaboratively between refugee initiatives, UNHCR, bilateral development organisations and international relief agencies. This paper outlines the work, outputs and lessons learnt of the Reproductive Health Group (RHG), an organisation of Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugee midwives and laywomen providing RH services to fellow refugees in Guinea's Forest Region between 1996 and 2000. Working as part of the Guinean health system, RHG midwives and community facilitators helped make the RH services in their region the most effective in Guinea at the time. Looking at RHG's achievements, the challenges it faced and partly overcame, it is argued that refugee organisations can plan and implement RH services for refugees where UNHCR and its international partners ensure that they receive funding and technical assistance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Guinea
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Refugees*
  • Reproductive Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Young Adult