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The continuing conflict in Iraq has now created an estimated four million internally displaced persons IDPs. The bulk of recently displaced persons are in Central Iraq, often in insecure and difficult situations. To determine the health status and health needs of women and children, age 15 and under, among a sample of this IDP population in Kirkuk, Baghdad, and Karbala governorates. Data were collected from the senior female in families which contained children living in 45 makeshift settlements.
The majority of IDPs were living in tents or religious centers. Repeated displacements were common. Kidnappings were reported by 5. Intentional violence accounted for Only a third of children in school at the time of displacement continued in school.
On average, households had received assistance on 3. Access to health services was difficult. Some form of transport was often required. Few women knew where to secure antenatal services and many did not know where childhood immunization services were available.
During or after displacement women had delivered or were currently pregnant. Complications of pregnancies were common, with a quarter reporting anemia, and Both communicable and non-communicable diseases NCDs were common in the women and children in the survey. Scabies, diarrhea and lice were common among children.
Among women, hypertension accounted for Domestic violence directed against women was reported in Women and children in IDP settlements of Central Iraq experience many vulnerabilities involving their health, education and their environment, in addition to living in physical danger. While some external assistance was received, much more is needed to meet the needs of a displaced population which is unlikely to return home soon.