Breaking News
November 17, 2018 - new horizon in dental, oral and craniofacial research
November 17, 2018 - How does poor air quality affect your health?
November 17, 2018 - New device can regulate children’s blood glucose more like natural pancreas
November 17, 2018 - Game-Changers in Western Blotting and Protein Analysis
November 17, 2018 - FDA announces new actions to limit sale of e-cigarettes to youth
November 17, 2018 - Warmer winter temperatures related to higher crime rates
November 17, 2018 - MCO places increasing emphasis on helping people find and access healthy food
November 17, 2018 - Group of students aim to improve malaria diagnosis using old smartphones
November 17, 2018 - Transplantation of feces may protect preterm children from deadly bowel disease
November 17, 2018 - Researchers explore whether low-gluten diets can be recommended for people without allergies
November 17, 2018 - New and better marker for assessing patients after cardiac arrest
November 17, 2018 - For 7-year-old with failing bone marrow, a life-saving transplant | News Center
November 17, 2018 - New first-line treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma approved by FDA
November 17, 2018 - Artificial intelligence could be valuable tool to help young victims disclose traumatic testimony
November 17, 2018 - Breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome
November 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Who Have Been Previously Treated with Sorafenib
November 16, 2018 - Eagle Books | Native Diabetes Wellness Program
November 16, 2018 - Patients with common heart failure more likely to have lethal heart rhythms
November 16, 2018 - How AI could help veterinarians code their notes | News Center
November 16, 2018 - Bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find first direct evidence that cerebellum plays role in cognitive functions
November 16, 2018 - Non-coding genetic variant plays key role in endothelial function and disease incidence
November 16, 2018 - EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness
November 16, 2018 - Drug used to treat dizziness may slow down growth of triple-negative breast cancer
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Icosapent Ethyl Cuts CV Risk From Elevated Triglycerides
November 16, 2018 - ‘Orphan’ RNAs make cancer deadlier, but potentially easier to diagnose
November 16, 2018 - Air Cube touches down at hospital | News Center
November 16, 2018 - CRISPR-based tool shown to enhance cell-based immunotherapy
November 16, 2018 - Mechanisms that govern HIV latency differ in the gut and blood, finds study
November 16, 2018 - Researchers unravel mystery of NPM1 protein in acute myeloid leukemia
November 16, 2018 - High school students less likely to select milk, fruit for lunch when fruit juice is available
November 16, 2018 - Football coaches with great emotional competence are more successful
November 16, 2018 - Researchers awarded $10 million grant to address root causes of asthma in Puerto Rico
November 16, 2018 - Health Tip: Manage Morning Sickness
November 16, 2018 - Infant gut microbes altered by mother’s obesity may increase risk for future disease
November 16, 2018 - Immunotherapy combination and chemotherapy show encouraging results in Phase II acute myeloid leukemia study
November 16, 2018 - ACC Latin America Conference brings experts to discuss latest cardiovascular science
November 16, 2018 - Pooled analysis of Intersect ENT’s steroid releasing implants in patients after frontal sinus surgery to be published
November 16, 2018 - Expectations about pain intensity can become self-fulfilling prophecies
November 16, 2018 - NIH awards $3.4 million to UC researchers to study gastrointestinal lymphatic system
November 16, 2018 - Highlighting Advances in Bioengineering and Analytical Technologies with eBooks
November 16, 2018 - Scientist Dr David Taylor of MR Solutions is a finalist in the BMW i UK Tech Founder Awards
November 16, 2018 - Earlier treatment could help reverse autistic-like behavior in tuberous sclerosis
November 16, 2018 - Sucking your baby’s pacifier could improve their health
November 16, 2018 - Vegetables and salad may include bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics
November 16, 2018 - Autism linked to prolonged connection between brain regions
November 16, 2018 - Endocrine Society chooses four Diabetes Caucus leaders as winners of Diabetes Champion Award
November 16, 2018 - Brain and muscle cells found within kidney organoids
November 16, 2018 - Person’s sex hormones may play key role in trauma survival, finds study
November 16, 2018 - PTEN Genetic Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 16, 2018 - Toxic metal pollution linked with development of autism spectrum disorder
November 16, 2018 - Calcified nodules in the retina increase risk for progression to late stages of AMD
November 16, 2018 - ZEISS teams up with arivis AG to offer complete 3D imaging solutions
November 16, 2018 - Georgia State professor receives $1.2 million grant to study how the brain controls eating behavior
November 16, 2018 - Specific bacterial toxins reduce number of cells suppressing immune response
November 16, 2018 - Review by ID physician improves outcomes for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
November 16, 2018 - Conditions that produce signs similar to arthritis
November 16, 2018 - New artificial intelligence-based method predicts treatment effectiveness
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Dapagliflozin Noninferior to Placebo for MACE in T2DM
November 16, 2018 - Surgery remains best treatment for appendicitis, Stanford study finds
November 16, 2018 - Non-surgical fistula creation system Ellipsys becomes key focus of attention at CiDA
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find no link between ‘allergy friendly’ dogs and lower risk of asthma
November 16, 2018 - Researchers elucidate new rules of connectivity of neurons in the neocortex
November 16, 2018 - Treating children with ‘bubble baby disease’
November 16, 2018 - Nexus announces availability of Arsenic Trioxide Injection in the US
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find metabolite shuttle between cells in the liver that may combat tissue fibrosis
November 16, 2018 - AHA: PTSD Common Among Those Who Suffer Tear in the Aorta’s Wall
November 16, 2018 - Many RA patients’ pain related to central nervous system
November 16, 2018 - Changes in Himalayan gut microbiomes linked to diet
November 16, 2018 - Inhibition of prostaglandin E2 enhances ability to combat infectious colitis
November 16, 2018 - Chronic dry eye can slow reading rate and disrupt day to day tasks
November 16, 2018 - Researchers develop new drug molecule that inhibits inflammation
November 16, 2018 - Dementia symptoms peak in winter and spring, study finds
November 16, 2018 - Stanford tobacco researcher weighs in on JUUL
November 16, 2018 - Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake during pregnancy reduces risk of premature birth, review finds
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find no link between infants waking up at night and later developmental problems
November 16, 2018 - Both parents and children agree about confidential medical services
November 16, 2018 - FDA warns against use of unapproved pain medications with implanted pumps
November 16, 2018 - Precision medicine-based approach to slow or reverse biologic drivers of Alzheimer’s disease
November 16, 2018 - Study provides new insight into norovirus outbreaks, may help guide efforts to develop vaccines
Life skills program benefits adolescent girl refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa

Life skills program benefits adolescent girl refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A yearlong program for adolescent girl refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa successfully promoted healthy transitions to adulthood within the evaluation period, according to the results of randomized controlled trials in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The studies, which appear in BMJ: Global Health, were led by researchers in the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The COMPASS program (Creating Opportunities through Mentoring, Parental Involvement, and Safe Spaces), developed by the International Rescue Committee, was implemented in refugee camps in Ethiopia and in conflict-affected communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Khyber Pakhtunkwah province, Pakistan. (Pakistan findings appeared in a separate journal article in the Prevention Science.)

Baseline surveys found a majority of girls experienced sexual, physical, or emotional violence, and most girls accepted norms of gender inequality and violence against women in the home. One in five girls experienced early marriage, or were living with a man as if married, and expressed low expectations about the level of education a girl should complete. Few girls said they had an adult they could talk to if they experienced gender-based violence (GBV), and they had limited knowledge of professional services to help survivors of violence.

“There is a huge gap in programming for adolescent girls in emergencies,” says first author Lindsay Stark, DrPH, associate professor of social work and public health at Washington University in St. Louis’s Brown School and former associate professor of Population and Family Health at the Columbia Mailman School. “Programming tends to either be geared towards younger children (e.g. child-friendly spaces) or geared towards adult women (e.g. GBV services). Adolescents’ unique needs and issues are rarely addressed.”

“The humanitarian community must ensure that the unique needs of adolescent girls are addressed, as they remain amongst the most marginalized populations in the world,” says Julia Thomas, head of Strategic Initiatives, Violence Prevention, and Response at the International Rescue Committee. “In times of conflict, they are at greater risk of exploitation and abuse, which has grave long-term implications, as they are denied the chance to reach their full potential. We must build on programs like COMPASS to put an end to gender based violence and to empower and protect adolescent girls everywhere.”

Ethiopia

A randomized controlled trial of 986 Sudanese and South Sudanese girls ages 13-19 residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia tested an intervention of weekly classes that taught life skills geared to build girls’ knowledge of violence risk factors, reshape attitudes about gender roles, expand social networks, and improve decision-making and negotiation skills, ultimately to equip them to advocate for their rights and physical safety. These sessions were delivered in female-only safe spaces where girls could meet and form friendships and connect with mentors. Each participating adolescent girl was also invited to select a caregiver to participate in complementary monthly classes that facilitated discussion on ways to support adolescent girls, foster gender equitable attitudes, and non-violent methods of child discipline.

Analyses showed no significant effect of the intervention on reports of sexual violence, physical violence, emotional violence, transactional sex, as well as no effect on perceived feelings of safety. However, girls randomized to the life skills lessons expressed a greater value in prolonged schooling and delayed marriage compared to girls in the control group. Girls in the intervention arm were also nearly twice as likely to report having friends their own age and a trusted non-family female adult in their life. In an unpublished finding, the researchers found girls in the intervention were also more likely to know where to go if they experienced violence. The program also showed a reduction in child marriage for girls who were married or living with a partner as if married at baseline. Informal reports from program staff suggest that girls who were living with boyfriends as if married left those relationships and returned home.

Democratic Republic of Congo

A randomized control trial followed 869 adolescent girls ages 10-14 and 764 caregivers residing in South Kivu, DRC, focused on the added impact of caregiver classes. Adolescent girls in both study arms participated in similar life skills sessions to the intervention in Ethiopia with one arm getting additional caregiver sessions.

The researchers found no evidence that adding a caregiver component to this life skills program increased or reduced girls’ exposure to any form of sexual violence, physical violence, child marriage, or transactional sex, beyond those of a program targeting girls alone. However, as compared to caregivers in the control arm, caregivers receiving the intervention exhibited greater warmth and affection toward their children at the conclusion of the study, though they did not report more gender equitable attitudes, or decreased acceptance of physical discipline.

More Work Needed

The researchers write that one year may not have been sufficient to measure the effectiveness of the COMPASS intervention against violence, as greater reductions may be seen as the girls’ age. Nevertheless, the intervention made a difference in several other ways.

“The COMPASS program showed some important improvements in building girls’ social networks in terms of friends and mentors, increasing knowledge about where to access services, and improving girls’ attitudes around staying in school and getting married later,” says Stark. “In thinking about how our learning can inform future programming, we have shown that harmful social and gender norms tended to persist, pointing to a need to do more work in this arena, including with men and boys. We also believe longer follow-up is critical for this kind of research, given the norms and behaviors programs like COMPASS are seeking to change.”

“Exposure to violence is routine for many adolescent girls who are refugees,” says Terry McGovern, JD, Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and Chair Population and Family Health at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. “We need to continue to investigate interventions that will reduce the likelihood and exposure to violence. With each intervention, we learn more about how to tackle this devastating problem.”

Source:

https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/refugee-girls-gain-effort-teach-life-skills

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles