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A new report was published this week: She Pays the Highest Price: The Toll of Conflict on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Northwest Syria. This study, co-authored by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Syria Relief & Development (SRD) and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), with data collection by Shafak, documents how targeted violence against health care personnel and infrastructure has impacted sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care, resulting in far-reaching tolls on the health and wellbeing of women, girls, and health care professionals in Northwest Syria.

 

Informed by interviews with over 260 health care workers and patients in northwest Syria conducted in 2022, the study shines a light on the barriers women and girls faced, even before the earthquake, in accessing sexual and reproductive health services such as maternal and newborn health care, family planning, gender-based violence services, post-abortion care, and sexually transmitted infection treatment and care.

 

The report is available in English and Arabic, and the executive summary is also available in Turkish. The report is accompanied by a summary video and videos illustrating the challenges for women and girls when visiting health centers, including overcrowding, and the long distances women are forced to travel.

 

The report offers recommendations to the international aid community, donor governments, NGOs, Syrian governing entities, and intergovernmental bodies to support the availability of and access to sexual and reproductive health care in northwest Syria.