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About California’s Refugee Reproductive Health Network:

California has accepted more refugees and holders of special immigrant visas than any other state since 2002. Because refugee women face conditions that make attending to female sexual and reproductive health (SRH) difficult, California’s Refugee Reproductive Health Network (ReproNet) aims to build a trusted partnership between refugee women and organizations, academics, and community members. These partnerships will together work to create a schema that focuses on patient-driven research and reflects the SRH priorities set by refugee women.

Our Objectives:

The University of California Irvine (UCI) received a two-year Eugene Washington Engagement Award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Partner campuses are UC San Diego, UC Davis, and UC San Francisco.  With funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), ReproNet aims to create a CA statewide Refugee Reproductive Health Network (ReproNet) in which refugee women have been directly engaged as stakeholders. Priority groups are refugee communities from six countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) that resettled in San Diego and Sacramento in the past ten years.

Aim:

  1. Strengthen refugee-academic community partnerships through the formation of a statewide reproductive health network with local branches in San Diego and Sacramento
  2. Engage in dialogue to capture experiences and preferences for well-woman care among refugees

Set a research and policy agenda for future collaborations at a symposium at UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, in fall 2021

Steps

COVID-19 enhancement : In May 2020, PCORI awarded a six-month COVID-19 enhancement which aims to (a) assess the use of digital media and its potential for refugee women’s education and utilization of reproductive health among six refugee communities and (b) pilot virtual group meetings (VGMs) to engage refugee women on reproductive health issues.

Stakeholder members of the ReproNet network will pilot three types of virtual interactions, tailored to the digital readiness of refugee communities, on COVID-19 in general and its impact on access to prenatal care, contraception, cervical cancer and breast cancer screening, and stressors on domestic relationships. We will compare feasibility, accessibility and comfort with VGMs across six refugee groups.

For more information about project details, see the following resource: California’s Refugee Reproductive Health Network (PPT)