Projects

Global
Middle East & North Africa
North America
Southeast Asia
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Global

Evaluating the community-based distribution of misoprostol for early induced abortion 

In 2017, we completed a three-year evaluation of the outcomes associated with the community-based distribution of misoprostol for early pregnancy termination. We have now published several papers about the initiative and women’s experiences using misoprostol through these Networks. We are now expanding this initiative to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Pakistan. 

  • 2018. “It is just like having a period with back pain”: Exploring women’s experiences with community-based distribution of misoprostol for early abortion on the Thailand-Burma border. Contraception. (Open access article)

  • 2017. Community-based distribution of misoprostol for early abortion: Evaluation of a program along the Thailand-Burma border. Contraception. (October 2017 Atlas Award Nominee: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/atlas/nominations) (Open access article)

Providing online information about medication abortion

In 2003, Ibis Reproductive Health launched one of the first multi-lingual online resources dedicated to medication abortion. CRHC is now partnering with Ibis Reproductive Health to update and maintain the website and introduce interactive, user friendly features to expand the reach of this global resource. The website is currently available in Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Persian, Spanish and Turkish and provides medically accurate and evidence-based information about three different medication abortion regimens to researchers, health service providers, and women considering the option of medication abortion for early pregnancy termination. The website receives more than a million visitors a year from more than 200 countries and territories. We will launch Polish and Portuguese versions of the medication abortion website in 2019. 

Understanding the efficacy of abortion medications at very, very early gestation

We are conducting a scoping review to explore the efficacy and safety of medication abortion drugs at days 28-35 LMP. In addition to consulting peer-reviewed and grey literature, we are analyzing a dataset from Women Help Women and interviewing key stakeholders. This project is part of a larger effort to identify strategies to demedicalize medication abortion and expand access to safe and effective technologies.

Middle East and North Africa

Assessing the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of emergency contraception in Tunisia

In 2001, Tunisia became the first country in the Arab world to register a dedicated emergency contraceptive pill (ECP). However, little research has been undertaken to systematically evaluate the service delivery and use patterns of ECPs in Tunisia. Our study aimed to fill this gap. Through this multi-methods study we assessed the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of EC in Tunisia and focused on the perspectives and experiences of pharmacists and both married and unmarried women. This project was undertaken in partnership with the Tunisian Center for Public Health and Ibis Reproductive Health.

Documenting the experiences of Yazidi women abducted by ISIS 

We recently completed a qualitative exploratory study dedicated to Yazidi women’s experiences while in captivity. We were asked to conduct this study with an Iraqi community-based organization in order to help them develop and evaluate a culturally appropriate clinical and psycho-social intervention. 

Expanding access to emergency contraception among Syrian refugees in Jordan 

We are conducting a series of studies dedicated to emergency contraception in Jordan. Our baseline research informed the development and implementation of trainings for the largest reproductive health service provider to Syrian refugees in Jordan and incorporation of emergency contraception into their standard of care protocols. We are now in the process of evaluating the impact of this effort.

Preventing and responding to early marriage in Jordan 

With a number of local partners in several areas of the country, we are engaged in a multipronged initiative to prevent and respond to early marriage among both Syrian refugees and Jordanians. We are now in the process of evaluating the interventions. 

North America

Creating a white paper on misoprostol-alone in the US 

We completed a white paper examining both legal and practice barriers to increasing access to misoprostol-alone in the United States. The research identified strategies for policy makers, advocates and clinicians to protect and expand access to misoprostol in an environment of greater restrictions on access to clinic-based, legal abortion.  

  • 2018. Strategies for protecting and expanding access to misoprostol in the United States. (Full report)

No exceptions: Documenting the abortion experiences of US Peace Corps Volunteers

Between 1979 and 2014, a US federal appropriations bill restricted the coverage of abortion for Peace Corps Volunteers. There were no exceptions to the coverage ban and abortion care was not covered under any circumstance. This large scale qualitative study aimed to document women’s experiences obtaining abortion care while in service under these restrictions and identify ways in which reproductive health services could be improved. 

  • 2015. No Exceptions: Documenting the Abortion Experiences of US Peace Corps Volunteers. The American Journal of Public Health. (Request article)

  • 2014. No exceptions: Documenting the abortion experiences of US Peace Corps Volunteers. Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants. (Full report, Executive summary)

Southeast Asia

Assessing the reproductive health needs of Rohingya refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This multi-methods needs assessment documented the availability and accessibility of reproductive health services for Rohingya women and girls residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have presented the findings to local stakeholders and are in the process of publishing the findings. We are actively seeking funding to work with local partners to implement the recommendations derived from the assessment. 

Conducting a reproductive health needs assessment in peri-Urban Yangon, Myanmar

Conflict in Myanmar has been ongoing for over 50 years and has led to massive population displacement, service disruptions, and shortages of trained health care workers. Reproductive health outcomes have subsequently suffered. Though the political landscape of the country has recently changed, many people fleeing volatile regions of the country have congregated in the slum settlements surrounding Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Little data exists on the health of women in this rapidly evolving area. This multi-methods needs assessment aimed to understand the availability and accessibility of reproductive health services in the peri-urban Yangon region, explore women’s experiences and unmet needs, and identify mechanisms by which comprehensive service delivery can be improved. Informed by Separated by borders, United in Need, we undertook this project in partnership with researchers at the University of Ottawa and the National YWCA of Myanmar.

  • 2016. Dynamics Shaping Access to Reproductive Health Services in Peri-urban Yangon, Myanmar: A Multi-Methods Study. Global Journal of Health Science. (Open access article)

  • 2016. "She Learned it from her Mother and Grandmother": Women's Experiences with Delivery and Post-Partum Practices in Peri-urban Yangon, Myanmar. Maternal and Child Health Journal. (Request article)

  • 2015. “We can lose our life for the abortion": exploring the dynamics shaping abortion care in peri-urban Yangon, Myanmar. Contraception. (Request article)

  • 2015. Near the City but Hard to Reach: A Reproductive Health Needs Assessment in Peri-Urban Yangon, Myanmar (Full report)

Establishing and evaluating safe abortion referral programs in conflict-affected settings 

In 2017, we completed our evaluation of our initiative to develop and scale-up a referral program to link women from Burma with legal and safe abortion care in Northern Thailand. This project is now integrated into the activities of community-based organizations in Chiang Mai. We are currently seeking funding to replicate the initiative in Malaysia and Jordan. 

  • 2017. To be, or not to be, referred: A qualitative study of women from Burma’s access to legal abortion care in Thailand. PLoS ONE. (Open access article)

  • 2017. “Without this program, women can lose their lives”: Migrant women’s experiences with the Safe Abortion Referral Program in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Reproductive Health Matters. (Open access article)

  • 2016. Establishing a referral system for safe and legal abortion care: A pilot project on the Thailand-Burma border. International Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health. (Request article)

Expanding access to long-acting reversible contraceptive methods on the Thailand-Burma border

The risk of unintended pregnancy and subsequent unsafe abortion among women in Eastern Burma and refugees and migrants in Thailand is considerable. Identifying avenues for reducing unplanned pregnancy within this especially vulnerable population has been widely recognized as a public health, service delivery, and research priority. The Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand operates one of the largest and most comprehensive health facilities along the Thailand-Burma border. This project aimed to understand better the factors that influence uptake of long-acting reversible contraception in this setting, including health worker biases and patient misinformation.

  • 2015. Assessing the experiences of intra-uterine device users in a long-term conflict setting: a qualitative study on the Thailand-Burma Border. Conflict and Health. (Open access article)

Improving young women's access to reproductive health education in Yangon, Myanmar

Building on the reproductive health needs assessment conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa, the National YWCA of Myanmar and CRHC, this project aimed to address misinformation surrounding sexual and reproductive health among young and unmarried women in peri-urban Yangon, Myanmar. Through a series of participatory peer education training sessions, this year-long project aimed to build confidence, increase knowledge of sexual and reproductive health issues, and address misinformation that hinders access to available services and care. Building on the priorities and experiences of our peer education participants, we developed a series of reproductive health education resources, including comic books, tailored to the experiences and interests of young, unmarried women in peri-urban Yangon.

  • 2016. Snakes, Ladders, and Information about Sexually Transmitted Infections: Evaluation of a Peer Educator Training on the Thailand-Burma Border. Global Journal of Health Science. (Open access article)

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