Immigration into Europe has reached an all-time high. Provision of coordinated healthcare, especially to refugee women that are at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, is a challenge for receiving health care systems. Methods: We assessed pregnancy rates and associated primary healthcare needs in three refugee cohorts in Northern Germany during the current crisis. Results: Out of n = 2911 refugees, 18.0% were women of reproductive age, and 9.1% of these were pregnant. Pregnancy was associated with a significant, 3.7-fold increase in primary health care utilization. Language barrier and cultural customs impeded healthcare to some refugee pregnant women. The most common complaints were demand for pregnancy checkup without specific symptoms (48.6%), followed by abdominal pain or urinary tract infections (in 11.4% of cases each). In 4.2% of pregnancies, severe complications such as syphilis or suicide attempts occurred.
Discussion: We present data on pregnancy rates and pregnancy associated medical need in three current refugee cohorts upon arrival in Germany. Healthcare providers should be particularly aware of the requirements of pregnant migrants and should adapt primary caretaking strategies accordingly.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep; 15(9): 1934.
Published online 2018 Sep 5. doi: [10.3390/ijerph15091934]
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