Sexual and reproductive health during disasters: A scoping review of the evidence

Jacqueline H Stephens, Jonatan Lassa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this scoping review was to identify and describe the international scientific literature and published post-disaster needs assessments (PDNAs), on post-disaster provision of healthcare services for sexual and reproductive health.
A systematic search was conducted to identify potential source documents, which were screened for edibility and included documents were full-text reviewed. Thirteen published research papers and 55 PDNAs were reviewed.
PDNAs did not address the sexual health needs of affected communities in a thorough manner and provided limited guidance on the actions required during the recovery stage. HIV was more likely to be considered in PDNAs than sexually transmitted infections (STI). Source documents showed STI prevalence increased in a community after a disaster, that people living with HIV are particularly vulnerable, and that service provision is influenced by humanitarian agencies’ ability to collaborate across sectors and governments.
In this first scoping review on the topic, the evidence has shown that there is an enduring gap between the recommendations in published guidelines and the implementation of these during a disaster or crisis. More work is required, as well as critical analysis of post-disaster recovery operations, to identify ways to improve service provision during disaster and crisis settings. In contrast to international humanitarian communities during emergencies, unfortunately, affected governments’ recovery agencies and their donors need to ensure that STI and HIV issues can be systematically identified and addressed during recovery assessment and implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101733
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date1 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Disaster planning [MESH]
  • Disasters [MESH]
  • HIV [MESH]
  • Post disaster needs assessment
  • Sexually transmitted diseases [MESH]


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