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Challenges to understanding the reproductive health needs of women forcibly displaced by the Syrian conflict
  1. Jocelyn DeJong
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jocelyn DeJong, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, PO Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, 11072020, Beirut, Lebanon; jd16{at}

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West et al’s article in this journal issue looks at barriers to the uptake of family planning among Syrian women living in Jordan in one of the largest camps for Syrian refugees worldwide.1 The article makes a contribution to a growing but still limited literature on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in humanitarian settings. The gap has been particularly acute for those forcibly displaced by the Syrian conflict that started in 2011. In particular, there has been limited published literature on the internally displaced within Syria2 – currently estimated at over 6.5 million individuals.3 The sparse literature tends to be on those living as refugees in neighbouring countries including Lebanon and Jordan, where registered Syrian refugees now make up approximately 1 in 6 and 1 in 12 of residents, respectively. Unlike the Syrians fleeing the conflict to Europe, among whom men predominate, these refugee populations in neighbouring countries have a high proportion of women and children. This poses a high demand on reproductive health services; it is estimated that in Lebanon and Jordan in 2015, 25% of registered Syrian refugees were women and girls of reproductive age and of these 2% were pregnant.4 Moreover, as a middle-income country before the conflict, the health profile differs from low-income settings, where much of the research on SRH among refugees has been focused to date. Nevertheless, …

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