News

Improving Maternal Health for Afghan Refugees in Iran

20 December 2018

Today, Dr. Leila Joudane, UNFPA Iran Representative signed a joint project with the Australian Embassy.  H.E. Mr. Ian Biggs, Ambassador of Australia, visited UNFPA Office in Tehran for signing the joint project on “Improving Maternal Health for Afghan Refugees in Iran.

Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Approximately 3 million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees are living in urban and rural areas.  Tehran and Khorasan province host most of these refugees.

This project is funded to implement activities on:

  • Assessment report on reproductive and maternal health needs of Afghan refugees in Khorasan province; and
  • Midwifery education plan for Afghan young refugee women developed for Khorasan province that hosts the second largest Afghan refugees.

After the end of the initial phase, should funding become available, UNFPA Iran Country Office will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) to implement the proposed Midwifery Education plan in Khorasan province with the proposed project objectives that:

  • Improve maternal health for Afghan refugees in Iran by developing an Afghan-friendly maternity ward at a hospital in Khorasan province, if needed following the assessment in the initial phase;
  • Selected Afghan refugee women (number to be identified based on the assessment) attended course at diploma-level midwives and/or bachelor degree level based on the assessment results and recommendations, and the agreement between the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and the Government of Afghanistan. It is intended to using the Afghan midwifery; and curriculum to enhance repatriation and reintegration prospects in Afghanistan; and
  • While waiting for the repatriation to Afghanistan, the graduates could provide awareness raising to Afghan refugees (women, men, couples, and youth) in the area of reproductive and maternal health information and services like ante natal care, family planning, post-natal care, HIV/STIs prevention and referral, nutrition, gender based violence/violence against women.

This project is continuation of a project that UNFPA is successfully is implementing on “Improving Maternal Health in Afghanistan and for Afghan Refugees Living in Iran”, which is funded by the Government of Italy. The project is currently being implemented by the Iran University of Medical Sciences and will conclude in early 2019.