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A Summary of Assessment Findings and Recommendations: The Situation of Refugee and Migrant Women, Greece 2016

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 10 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Jodine Chase

SafelyFed Canada

Normal user

17 Jan 2017, 14:01

I am concerned about the wording of a report I came across on ReliefWeb: "A Summary of Assessment Findings and Recommendations; The Situation of Refugee and Migrant Women" dated Greece, 2016.

It was published in December 2016 by Centre for Research on Women's Issues DOITIMA; International Medical Corps; OXFAM; The UN Population Fund and the Women's Refugee Commission.

http://reliefweb.int/report/greece/summary-assessment-findings-and-recommendations-situation-refugee-and-migrant-women-0

It deals with several areas, including sexual and reproductive health.

I am concerned about the recommendation below, which is as a result of the key finding:
"Assessments highlighted the lack of available antenatal care for pregnant women as well as postnatal care for women following deliveries in public hospitals. Women often return to sites shortly after C-section procedures without adequate accommodation and support. The food provided in the camps is considered to be insufficient in nutritional value for pregnant and lactating women. Infant formula is not regularly distributed or available...."

Recommendation: "Provide specialized food allocations for pregnant and lactating women to ensure they receive adequate nutrition. Make infant formula available for routine distribution in the sites."

The last sentence in this recommendation seems to me to be worded rather casually, and could make it harder to follow appropriate IYCF-E practices in place in refugee camps going forward in Greece. Does anyone here have a contact with the report's authors?

Yolande C.

Normal user

17 Jan 2017, 19:48

Dear Jodine, I am so glad that you shared this. It is a worrying state of affair as I know some organisations on the ground are working hard to help and support breastfeeding with refugee mothers and infants in the camps or where they have been relocated. I also know that if formula milk is required then they use it under very strict operational guidance and under the scope of the International Code (IC). Unfortunately no reference of this is mentioned in this report!! One of my doctor friend who has just come back from Lesvos told me that some mums who formula fed before arriving on the island and who continued to do so were complaining that there was a lack of formula. Anybody knows which agency (or government body?!) in Greece is in charge of regulated any purchase or procurement of formula when a mum has been assessed that this is the appropriate feeding method for her infant? Is the mum being followed up? We don't want the media or donors to get hold of the recommendation made in this report and then see a flooding of donated artificial milk in the region. As many of you will know the Code is very clear on this matter "in accordance to the WHA 47.5, donated BMS (breastmilk substitutes which includes formula milk) cannot be distributed in any part of the health care system. The health care system is defined by the IC to include governmental, non governmental or private institutions or organisations engaged directly or indirectly in healthcare of mothers, infants and pregnant mothers, and nurseries and child institutions. It also includes health workers in private practice. It does not include pharmacies or other established sales outlets." Anybody knows of the Greek position, policy or legislation on this matter? Anybody has any experience on how to deal with such issue, as the recommendation presented in this report could undermine agencies which are endorsing appropriate policy and standards? Thank you.

Adriana Zarrelli

UNICEF

Normal user

17 Jan 2017, 21:03

Dear Jodine and Yolande, many thanks for sharing this concern. I just started working with UNICEF Greece and will immediately bring this up with UNFPA. I know that Save the Children already raised concern on the recommendation when the report "A Summary of Assessment Findings and Recommendations; The Situation of Refugee and Migrant Women" was presented last December, but apparently the document has not been revised.

Please note that few months ago Ministry of Health, UNICEF, UNHCR and Save the Children signed a joint statement committing to IYCF principles and practices for refugees and migrants in Greece. The recommendation in the document above contravenes the international code and the statement signed by Ministry of Health.

There is in Athens a Health working group chaired by Ministry of Health which meets every two weeks. We should/could use this forum for advocating for the respect of the international code and for discussing any other nutrition issue we may encounter in our work in Greece. Please contact me at this email address: azarrelliunicef@gmail.com so we can discuss further and coordinate our advocacy work.

Yolande C.

Normal user

17 Jan 2017, 23:02

Dear Adriana, this is brilliant news. Thank you for this update and sharing your email.

Karleen Gribble

Assoc Prof Western Sydney University

Normal user

17 Jan 2017, 23:03

I am glad you are following this up Adriana. The other aspect of this report that is concerning is that absence of any mention of breastfeeding. It is particularly concerning that organisations like UNFPA, seem to miss the importance of breastfeeding as a part of the reproductive continuum and as a contraceptive. Myself and others published a paper some years ago that attempted to address this lack of awareness in the reproductive health sector. It may be of assistance to you Gribble, K. D., McGrath, M., MacLaine, A., & Lhotska, L. (2011). Supporting breastfeeding in emergencies: protecting women's reproductive rights and maternal and infant health. Disasters, 35(4), 720-738.

Adriana Zarrelli

UNICEF

Normal user

22 Jan 2017, 22:02

Dear all,
Just to inform you that a revised version of the document has been posted on Reliefweb and that the recommendation on distribution of infant formula in the sites has been removed !!!!!
Adriana

Patti Rundall

Policy Director, Baby Milk Action IBFAN UK

Normal user

22 Jan 2017, 22:34

Thanks for the response from UNICEF that the Guidance has been changed. In spite of the many global guidelines and recommendations that have been developed, IBFAN’s World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative assessment of policies and programmes on Infant feeding during Emergencies shows implementation on this issue is dismal. (http://worldbreastfeedingtrends.org/84-country/ ). Status is available at http://worldbreastfeedingtrends.org/WBTi-84Country/84-country-report-Indicator9.pdf WHO's response in emergencies is on the Agenda of its Executive Board tomorrow. It would be good if other agencies raise the need to protect breastfeeding and ensure that it is not undermined by inappropriate distribution of products.

Jodine Chase

SafelyFed Canada

Normal user

23 Jan 2017, 01:40

Thank you, Adriana, that is a terrific outcome! I will share it with the IFSfRC group. Iwas just given a series of photos of the new joint statement on infant feeding for refugees in Greece (taken by a Nurture Oroject International volunteer) and I have reached out to Save the Children's representative, who is one of the signatories, to see if I can get a better copy or even a link to an online version.

- Jodine

Yusuf Lare

Program Manager

Normal user

23 Jan 2017, 07:31

Recommendation
The Board of Livelihood Relief & Develpment Organization ( LRDO) led by Miss Muna Hasan is here by kindly recommending you that there is a great GAP of GBV/ HIVAIDS support is Somalia because Some Donors funded by passing the funds through Somali Protection Cluster based in three based like Mogadishu/ Banadir Puntland & Hargeysa but we are not talking about the transparency of the two Protection Clusters based in Puntlad & Hargeysa but the one in Mogadishu is nor fair during the distribution of funds allocated for GBV/ AIDS Victim Supports because there are many GBV victims that belong to poorest & minority familes those are marginalized or discriminated from the access to the Small & large Grants pretained to help those mentioned above
in addition to that the NGOs or CBOs belonging to Minorities are not allowed to participate in the Protection Clusters in Banadir Region so that here is invisible disaster that inverted or encountered to Somali minority young women & Chidren & now we need the deep rooted M & E-activity & fund support to be done by UNFPA UNICEF & internatioanl medical Corps to make equal reach to all patients needs GBV- support & HIV/AIDS for their survival
about the Large GAP & small Bias Funds delivered to specific Group in Somalia within 2014 up to 2015
in order to ensure what is going to be done or funded within this year 2017
our official. emails are lrdo.org113@gmail.com, OR ojland98@gmail.com
Thanks
Miss Muna

Tamsin Walters

en-net moderator

Forum moderator

23 Jan 2017, 11:41

Dear Miss Muna,

It appears your message has been posted to the wrong thread on the forum. However, as it raises concerns about transparency, we will forward directly to the Nutrition Cluster in Somalia.

Best wishes,
Tamsin

Yolande C.

Normal user

23 Jan 2017, 16:19

Thank you Adriana. This is great! The additions made in section 2 of the recommendations are spot on. To my colleagues who will be coordinating and implementing them in the field, all the best.

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