Delivering health and nutrition interventions for women and children in conflict settings: country case studies from the BRANCH Consortium


Women and children are particularly vulnerable in armed conflict, affected by both the direct and indirect consequences of violence, destruction and displacement, with both immediate and long-term implications for their health and well-being.  This collection of articles in Conflict and Health reports on a set of case studies conducted by members and partners of the BRANCH Consortium, a research enterprise aimed at improving evidence and guidance for effective action on women’s and children’s health and nutrition in conflict settings.  These case studies examine the humanitarian health response for women and children in a range of acute, protracted and post-conflict settings, focusing on whether and how health and nutrition interventions for women and children have been prioritized and the strategies employed by humanitarian health actors to overcome intervention delivery barriers.


The series includes:

  1. Impact of conflict on maternal and child health service delivery: a country case study of Afghanistan

    Since decades, the health system of Afghanistan has been in disarray due to ongoing conflict. We aimed to explore the direct effects of conflict on provision of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adole…

    Authors:Shafiq Mirzazada, Zahra Ali Padhani, Sultana Jabeen, Malika Fatima, Arjumand Rizvi, Uzair Ansari, Jai K. Das and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:38

    Content type:Research

  2. Responding to health needs of women, children and adolescents within Syria during conflict: intervention coverage, challenges and adaptations

    Women and children suffer disproportionately in armed-conflicts. Since 2011, the protracted Syrian crisis has fragmented the pre-existing healthcare system. Despite the massive health needs of women and childr…

    Authors:Chaza Akik, Aline Semaan, Linda Shaker-Berbari, Zeina Jamaluddine, Ghada E. Saad, Katherine Lopes, Joanne Constantin, Abdulkarim Ekzayez, Neha S. Singh, Karl Blanchet, Jocelyn DeJong and Hala Ghattas

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:37

    Content type:Research

  3. C’est vraiment compliqué: a case study on the delivery of maternal and child health and nutrition interventions in the conflict-affected regions of Mali

    Mali is currently in the midst of ongoing conflicts which involve jihadist groups, rebels, and the state. This conflict has primarily centered in the North of the country. Humanitarian actors delivering servic…

    Authors:Anushka Ataullahjan, Michelle F. Gaffey, Moctar Tounkara, Samba Diarra, Seydou Doumbia, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta and Diego G. Bassani

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:36

    Content type:Research

  4. Understanding the factors affecting the humanitarian health and nutrition response for women and children in Somalia since 2000: a case study

    Somalia has been ravaged by more than two decades of armed conflict causing immense damage to the country’s infrastructure and mass displacement and suffering among its people. An influx of humanitarian actors…

    Authors:Zahra Ahmed, Anushka Ataullahjan, Michelle F. Gaffey, Mohamed Osman, Chantal Umutoni, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta and Abdirisak A. Dalmar

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:35

    Content type:Research

  5. Maternal and child health service delivery in conflict-affected settings: a case study example from Upper Nile and Unity states, South Sudan

    Decades of war left the Republic of South Sudan with a fragile health system that has remained deprived of resources since the country’s independence. We describe the coverage of interventions for women’s and …

    Authors:Samira Sami, Augustino Mayai, Grace Sheehy, Nicole Lightman, Ties Boerma, Hannah Wild, Hannah Tappis, Wilfred Ochan, James Wanyama and Paul Spiegel

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:34

    Content type:Research

  6. Health in conflict and post-conflict settings: reproductive, maternal and child health in Colombia

    In conflict-afflicted areas, pregnant women and newborns often have higher rates of adverse health outcomes.

    Authors:Sara Milena Ramos Jaraba, Natalia Quiceno Toro, María Ochoa Sierra, Laura Ruiz Sánchez, Marlly Andrea García Jiménez, Mary Y. Salazar-Barrientos, Edison Bedoya Bedoya, Gladis Adriana Vélez Álvarez, Ana Langer, Jewel Gausman and Isabel C. Garcés-Palacio

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:33

    Content type:Research

  7. Impact of conflict on maternal and child health service delivery – how and how not: a country case study of conflict affected areas of Pakistan

    In conflict affected countries, healthcare delivery remains a huge concern. Pakistan is one country engulfed with conflict spanning various areas and time spans. We aimed to explore the effect of conflict on p…

    Authors:Jai K. Das, Zahra Ali Padhani, Sultana Jabeen, Arjumand Rizvi, Uzair Ansari, Malika Fatima, Ghulam Akbar, Wardah Ahmed and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:32

    Content type:Research

    8. Health services for women, children and adolescents in conflict affected settings: experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Insecurity has characterized the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. Providing health services to sustain women’s and children’s health during protracted conflict is challenging. T…

    Authors:Chiara Altare, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma and Paul Spiegel

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:31

    Content type:Research

    9. Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health service delivery during conflict in Yemen: a case study

    Armed conflict, food insecurity, epidemic cholera, economic decline and deterioration of essential public services present overwhelming challenges to population health and well-being in Yemen. Although the maj…

    Authors:Hannah Tappis, Sarah Elaraby, Shatha Elnakib, Nagiba A. Abdulghani AlShawafi, Huda BaSaleem, Iman Ahmed Saleh Al-Gawfi, Fouad Othman, Fouzia Shafique, Eman Al-Kubati, Nuzhat Rafique and Paul Spiegel

    Citation:Conflict and Health 2020 14:30

    Content type:Research

    10. Investigating the delivery of health and nutrition interventions for women and children in conflict settings: a collection of case studies from the BRANCH Consortium

    Globally, the number of people affected by conflict is the highest in history, and continues to steadily increase. There is currently a pressing need to better understand how to deliver critical health interve…

    Authors:Anushka Ataullahjan, Michelle F. Gaffey, Samira Sami, Neha S. Singh, Hannah Tappis, Robert E. Black, Karl Blanchet, Ties Boerma, Ana Langer, Paul B. Spiegel, Ronald J. Waldman, Paul H. Wise and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta