Migration and Family Planning: A Qualitative Analysis in Jordan

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Political upheaval in Syria makes Jordan a temporary home to over one million Syrian refugees. More than half of these individuals, due to limited resources and challenging financial circumstances, do not have adequate access to reproductive health and family planning mechanisms. Among pregnant refugee women in Jordan, approximately one in five are at risk for poor obstetrical outcomes, including premature and underweight births. Due to increased rates of birth in humanitarian and lower resource settings, and the crucial need for addressing sexual and reproductive health in these settings, this study conducted a comparative analysis of the sexual and reproductive health climate among Syrian refugee and Jordanian men and women.

Using a case study research design, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 34 study participants, including 15 Syrian women, 8 Jordanian women, 6 Syrian men, and 5 Jordanian men. These interviews examined participants’ migration experiences, pregnancy outcomes, influencers for reproductive decisions, and gaps in sexual and reproductive health care.

Qualitative interviews revealed that Syrian refugees indicated greater reproductive and sexual health need than Jordanians, more specifically related to education on reproductive health and contraceptive methods. Syrian refugees were married at earlier ages than Jordanians, and, overall, had more children. Additionally, Syrian refugees confirmed that healthcare in Syria was more accessible, affordable, and comprehensive in comparison to Jordan. The greatest contributors to gaps in care for both Jordanians and Syrians were financial constraints and apathy regarding refugee welfare among providers in public facilities.

Increasing access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare among refugees in low-resourced, humanitarian settings, while also continuing to meet the needs of the nation’s own population, is a healthcare priority. The findings of this study have the potential to guide and influence policy affecting family planning mechanisms afforded to migrants in Jordan in both public and private facilities. Action is required immediately by policymakers and government officials to create budgetary resources for sexual and reproductive health education programs in Jordan in order to meet the family planning needs of refugee and migrant populations residing there.






Price, Malena M (2018). Migration and Family Planning: A Qualitative Analysis in Jordan. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17024.


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