Authors

SHAHNAZ KOHAN*, MOHAMMAD HOSSEIN YARMOHAMMADIAN**, FARIDEH BAHMANJANBEH***, ABBAS HAGHSHENAS****

Departments

* Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran - **Health Management & Economics Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran - ***PhD Candidate, Student’s Research Center, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran / Department of Midwifery, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran - ****Health Management and Economics Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, Family Physician, Faculty of Health, University of Technology of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Family physician, Benchmark Medical, Martin Place, Sydney

Abstract

Aim: Natural disasters have numerous effects on vulnerable groups, particularly pregnant women and women in labor. There is little information available about the aftermath of earthquakes on women’s reproductive health in Iran and other Middle East countries. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the status of women’s reproductive health following East Azerbaijan province earthquakes of August 12, 2012 in Iran.

Methods: In this qualitative study, 16 earthquake-affected women and 14 health providers from the three struck towns and their villages, and health center and deputy for healthcare of Red Crescent Society of East Azerbaijan province in Iran, participated in semi-structured interviews and data were analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis.

Results: Four main categories were extracted including psychological complications, reproductive system physical damages, sexual health damages, and fertility regulation. The first category had two subcategories (short term and long term effects).

Conclusion: Results showed that the earthquake had severe effects on some aspects of women’s reproductive health, particularly on pregnant women and women in labor. Providing such cares, must therefore be prioritized in services for earthquake-affected women. This issue shows a demand for decision-makers’ and service providers’ greater attention to women needs during natural disasters.

Keywords

disasters, earthquakes, Iran, reproductive health, women’s health.