A Lancet Series, Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings, discusses the requirements of providing sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition services in conflict settings. Drawing upon scholarship from the BRANCH Consortium, the series provides insights into the nature and dynamics of women’s and children’s health and nutrition in diverse conflict contexts globally. The Series papers articulate a way forward to fill immediate evidence and guidance gaps as well as longer term action to ensure the most effective humanitarian health response for conflict-affected women and children.
Some key findings:
- At least 630 million women and children worldwide in 2017 were affected by armed conflict, contributing to more than 10 million deaths among children under 5 years of age over 20 years.
- The changing nature of war increasingly threatens humanitarian access and therefore essential health services for women and children. However, examples from some countries – including Syria, Pakistan, and Colombia – may provide context-specific innovative ways forward.
The series includes four original research papers and two commentaries:
- The political and security dimensions of the humanitarian health response to violent conflict (Paul H Wise et al, for the BRANCH Consortium)
- The effects of armed conflict on the health of women and children (Eran Bendavid et al, for the BRANCH Consortium)
- Delivering health interventions to women, children, and adolescents in conflict settings: what have we learned from ten country case studies? (Neha S Singh et al, and the BRANCH Consortium Steering Committee)
- Delivering health and nutrition interventions for women and children in different conflict contexts: a framework for decision making on what, when, and how (Michelle F Gaffey et al, and the BRANCH Consortium Steering Committee)
- Doing better for women and children in armed conflict settings (Zulfiqar A Bhutta et al)
- A commitment to support the world’s most vulnerable women, children, and adolescents (Helen Clark)