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Article

Maternal and Child Health of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine: A Qualitative Study

1
Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, Institute of Health and Society, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels 1200, Belgium
2
Food Security Unit, Sustainable Resources Directorate, European Commission Joint Research Centre, I-21027 Ispra, Italy
3
Institute of Health and Society, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels 1200, Belgium
4
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paul B. Tchounwou, Jimmy T. Efird and Pollie Bith-Melander
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010054
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 9 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
Due to the conflict that started in spring 2014 in Eastern Ukraine, a total of 1.75 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled the area and have been registered in government-controlled areas of the country. This paper explores perceived health, barriers to access to healthcare, caring practices, food security, and overall financial situation of mothers and young children displaced by the conflict in Ukraine. This is a qualitative study, which collected data through semi-structured in-depth interviews with nine IDP mothers via Skype and Viber with a convenience sample of participants selected through snowball technique. Contrary to the expectations, the perceived physical health of mothers and their children was found not to be affected by conflict and displacement, while psychological distress was often reported. A weak healthcare system, Ukraine’s proneness to informal payments, and heavy bureaucracy to register as an IDP were reported in our study. A precarious social safety net to IDP mothers in Ukraine, poor dietary diversity, and a generalized rupture of vaccine stocks, with halted or delayed vaccinations in children were identified. Increasing social allowances and their timely delivery to IDP mothers might be the most efficient policy measure to improve health and nutrition security. Reestablishment and sustainability of vaccine stocks in Ukraine is urgent to avoid the risks of a public health crisis. Offering psychological support for IDP mothers is recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ukraine; maternal health; child health; reproductive health; mental health; IDPs; conflict; crisis; humanitarian response Ukraine; maternal health; child health; reproductive health; mental health; IDPs; conflict; crisis; humanitarian response
MDPI and ACS Style

Nidzvetska, S.; Rodriguez-Llanes, J.M.; Aujoulat, I.; Gil Cuesta, J.; Tappis, H.; Van Loenhout, J.A.F.; Guha-Sapir, D. Maternal and Child Health of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 54. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010054

AMA Style

Nidzvetska S, Rodriguez-Llanes JM, Aujoulat I, Gil Cuesta J, Tappis H, Van Loenhout JAF, Guha-Sapir D. Maternal and Child Health of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(1):54. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010054

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nidzvetska, Svitlana, Jose M. Rodriguez-Llanes, Isabelle Aujoulat, Julita Gil Cuesta, Hannah Tappis, Joris A.F. Van Loenhout, and Debarati Guha-Sapir. 2017. "Maternal and Child Health of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, no. 1: 54. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010054

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