Ramat Morrison, a public health nurse at Mbeki clinic situated near Rwanda’s Mahama refugee camp, is worried about the rising incidence of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among female refugee youth. A community-based program designed to address these widespread sexual and reproductive health challenges has had a low uptake rate by refugee youth since its inception. Ramat now faces a dilemma of which multisectoral approach to adopt to enhance this uptake rate. She has several options she can implement to precipitate change. The role of partnership and collaboration with other refugee organizations and stakeholders is now paramount in reducing the epidemic of gender inequality in Rwandan refugee camps.
The goal of the case is to identify the relevant stakeholders required to address the sexual and reproductive health challenges faced by refugee youth in Rwanda’s Mahama Refugee Camp. Additionally, the case provides students with the opportunity to describe the connection between the overall health of marginalized populations such as refugees and the social determinants of health such as gender, culture, and income. Finally, readers are able to explore how cultural values and practices affect the implementation of public health programs.
1. Demonstrate the relationship between gender, culture, education, housing, food insecurity and income on the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of refugees in Rwanda.
2. Understand the role of youth-specific sexual and reproductive health programs in narrowing gender disparities among female refugee youth in refugee camps in Rwanda.
3. Explore the effectiveness of stakeholder negotiation and consultation in tackling the sexual and reproductive health challenges of refugee youth in Rwanda.
4. Identify and address barriers to accessing youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services in Rwandan refugee camps.
Case Study Questions
1. Why do the sexual and reproductive health challenges faced by female refugee youth increase gender inequality among refugees?
2. Who are the relevant stakeholders required in tackling the sexual and reproductive health challenges of female refugee youth in Rwandan refugee camps? Which methods can be used to increase stakeholder collaboration and participation to improve sexual and reproductive health issues in these camps?
3. What are the barriers faced by female refugee youth to accessing sexual and reproductive health services and how can this be addressed?
4. How can male refugee youth be engaged in discussions concerning the sexual and reproductive health rights of females and how can this affect gender equality in refugee camps in Rwanda?
5. How does migration affect the social determinants of health of refugees?
Gender equality, Gender-based violence, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, refugee youth, Rwanda, sexual and reproductive health, sociocultural determinants of health, stakeholder engagement and collaboration
Barnes, M.T., Utuza, J.A., Wylie, L., Thind, A. (2022). The Silent Epidemic of Gender Inequality in Rwandan Refugee Camps. in: Darnell, R. & Sibbald, S. L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2021. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.