Incorporating Sexual and Reproductive Health into Disaster Risk Reduction in Crisis-Affected Pakistan

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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Emergencies have a disproportionate effect on the poorest and most vulnerable. These include women, children, adolescents, those expressing non-binary gender identity or sexual orientation, persons with disabilities, and particularly those with intersecting vulnerabilities. A multisectoral and multidisciplinary health emergency and disaster risk management system protects public health and reduces morbidity, mortality, and disability associated with emergencies. A proactive approach that strengthens health systems and builds national, sub-national, and community capacity can reduce lives lost and mitigate the impact of disasters, especially for marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a significant public health need in all communities, including those facing emergencies. The Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for SRH is the standard of care for SRH interventions in humanitarian settings. It is a coordinated set of priority activities aimed at preventing sexual violence and responding to the needs of survivors; preventing the transmission of and reducing morbidity and mortality due to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); preventing excess maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality; preventing unintended pregnancies; and planning for comprehensive SRH services that are integrated into primary health care. The standard also calls for safe abortion care to be available to the full extent of the law, in health centers and hospitals.The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was a landmark development for the integration of SRH within disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies, and was the first framework to focus on community-level preparedness to build resilience.