Menstrual regulation (as abortion is known in Bangladesh) is legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. But despite this legal service, unsafe abortion does occur—particularly in rural parts of the country. The Rohingya humanitarian crisis has also created an urgent need for sexual and reproductive health-care services in Bangladesh, as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are now living in or near refugee camps in Bangladesh. Many are women and girls who have been sexually assaulted and are in desperate need of reproductive health care.
Ipas began working in Bangladesh in 2011 to reduce deaths and injuries related to unsafe abortion by strengthening postabortion care (treatment for complications of unsafe abortion) and menstrual regulation services. Ipas Bangladesh also advocates for policy changes that will expand women’s access to these health services, and we support efforts to strengthen sexual and reproductive health-care topics in the training curricula for nurses, midwives and OB-GYNs. Together with partners, we are also building a training program for health providers who serve Rohingya refugees, making badly needed reproductive health services available to more refugee women and girls.
Training health workers in Rohingya refugee camps
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Supporting reproductive autonomy in refugee settings
Ipas is working with women and girls in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh to provide support and offer strategies for regaining their reproductive autonomy. The work is funded by the global charity Elrha, which supports research and innovation aimed at finding solutions to complex humanitarian problems.
In humanitarian crises, abortion care can be provided quickly and effectively. Case study of Rohingya refugee camps documents first time abortion was introduced during an acute emergency.