Burundian female survivors of war (Sow): Views of health before, during, and post conflict

Jenelle R. Walker, Jeanne Nizigiyimana, Oluwasola Banke-Thomas, Eric Niragira, Yvette Nijimbere, Crista Johnson-Agbakwu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Purpose To determine the health status of women before, during, and after the war, and to explore women’s perceived health needs and current access to healthcare. Methodology/approach Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted in urban and rural areas. A total of 52 women participated in the study (N = 52; Individual Interviews, n = 12; Focus Group Participants, n = 40). Findings Women’s health concerns and healthcare needs overlap between the rural and urban communities. The women reported the needs for empowerment in the forms of social support groups for health, specialists for women’s health, education, resources, prevention, financial support to look for medical services, and mental health issues. Research limitations/implications Since these focus groups and interviews were conducted, the women have continued to meet. The strength of these meetings is represented in the forms of preparing a meal, eating, and socializing in unity. The social support experienced in these gatherings allows the women to openly express their issues, fears, concerns, joys, and successes. The CBPR approach is an important necessity when working with vulnerable populations. There were some inherent limitations due to economic issues to support the gatherings, transportation, and health-related complications that may have prevented women from attending. Originality/value Disparate health outcomes and biologic environmental interactions are represented in female survivors of war. Their issues began or were exacerbated during war and continue today. In the future, we seek to identify and establish a culturally and gender-specific intervention for health access, prevention, maintenance, and improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Health Care
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Health Care
ISSN (Print)0275-4959


  • Burundi
  • Displaced
  • Health
  • Survivors
  • War
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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