Reproductive Health Research and Needs Assessments

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Separated by borders, united in need: A comprehensive reproductive health needs assessment

In 2010 BBP’s reproductive health team partnered with Ibis Reproductive Health and the Global Health Access Program to conduct an assessment to identify unmet reproductive health needs among migrants from Burma living in Thailand, internally displaced and conflict affected communities in eastern Burma, and refugees from Burma living in camps in Thailand. This multi-methods assessment included key informant interviews and focus group discussions, as well as a service mapping exercise with over 20 organizations working on the Thailand-Burma border.

The results demonstrated a significant unmet need for contraception due to inconsistent supplies, structural barriers, misinformation, and non-evidenced policies and practices. The research also shows that unsafe abortion is widespread among migrants from Burma in Thailand, and there is a lack of referrals for legal abortion services in Thailand. Maternal mortality rates in eastern Burma continue to dwarf the rates in Thailand and Burma as a whole. Adolescents and unmarried people lack access to information, counseling, and services. For more information, see the full report, Separated by borders, united in need: An assessment of reproductive health on the Thailand-Burma border.

 

Partnering with local groups to improve access to long-acting contraceptives

Long-term reversible contraceptives such as the IUD have the potential to reduce unplanned pregnancies and complications due to unsafe abortion along the Thailand-Burma border. With a grant from the University of Massachusetts Office of Global Health and in collaboration with Ibis Reproductive Health and the Mae Tao Clinic, in 2011 BBP began a one year multi-methods project in Mae Sot, Thailand. Findings from the research will inform an intervention to address barriers to IUD utilization among post-abortion care (PAC) clients at Mae Tao Clinic.

 

Working with UN Agencies to improve reproductive health services

In 2011 the UNFPA Thailand Country Office commissioned the BBP research team to complete a rapid assessment of reproductive health needs among refugees in three selected camps and their surrounding areas in Mae Hong Son and Tak Provinces. The assessment aimed to identify existing services and service gaps related to family planning, gender-based violence, HIV/STI prevention, and adolescent reproductive health along the Thailand-Burma border. BBP’s reproductive health team conducted 51 key informant interviews with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations working inside and outside of the camps and six focus group discussions with adult and adolescen