Canary Islands creates a gynecological-obstetric care plan for migrant women

Canary Islands creates a gynecological-obstetric care plan for migrant women

It includes a specific section aimed at establishing the assistance that migrant women from Africa who have suffered genital mutilation should receive.

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, through the General Directorate of Assistance Programs of the Canary Islands Health Service, has drawn up the Protocol for gynecological-obstetric care for pregnant and postpartum women in migratory processes, a document with which
aims to guarantee and facilitate adequate and respectful initial health care provided to pregnant and postpartum migrant women from Africa.

This protocol, which is available on the SCS website, defines the channels of coordination between the different entities involved and standardizes health actions in the Archipelago to offer the best care to these women in a situation of vulnerability who are pregnant or have recently given birth.

This document establishes the common guidelines in the field of care to provide a coordinated and consensual response among all the sectors involved in the care of the group of migrant women.

In addition, with this protocol the complementary tests used to screen for disease in these women are defined, the
information circuits that facilitate the continuity of health care for this vulnerable population.

Assistance circuit

Migrant pregnant women who arrive on the Canary coasts will be identified, and in all cases, initially referred to the reference hospital on each island, preferably to the
Gynecology and Obstetrics Emergencieswhere, in addition to screening for covid-19, they will undergo an assessment and an initial gynecological-obstetric examination and where the appropriate therapeutic measures will be taken.

After this initial assessment, a care circuit is established that includes, where necessary, the performance of additional tests, control and monitoring of the pregnancy by the midwife, administration of the indicated vaccines during pregnancy, delivery assistance,

In the case of migrant women who are in the postpartum period, in addition to all of the above, the benefits of breastfeeding will be explained to them and the contraceptive methods that best suit their lifestyle will be disclosed.

female genital mutilation

The Protocol for Gynecological-Obstetric Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Migratory Processes includes a specific section aimed at establishing the assistance that migrant women who have suffered genital mutilation should receive.

This practice can lead to specific health complications in the short, medium and long term for women who have undergone genital mutilation, so it must be taken into account when addressing clinical care for this group. These possible consequences must be made known to women so that they know how to detect them and communicate them to the health professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Vulnerable population

The Canary Islands have become one of the host regions for people who come to Spain to live and work from impoverished countries, the vast majority from Africa. These people are in a situation of inequality with respect to the native population and arrive with the desire to establish their life, work and family project here.

There are multiple factors that influence the degree of vulnerability of migrants, even more so in the case of women, since it is estimated that
gender violence is especially aggravated by migration processes.

For this reason, it is required that, from the healthcare practice, attention be directed to sexual and reproductive health from a diverse and rights-based perspective. This adequate and quality assistance implies, in turn, the promotion of gender equality and equity, but always considering the singularities of each of the women who receive health care in the SCS.

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