Maternity conference to highlight needs of refugees in Leeds
The free conference is taking place at the University’s Headingley Campus on Monday 1 June and has been organised by the University in collaboration with the City of Sanctuary Maternity Stream and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
Topics on the agenda for the event include mental health, asylum issues, HIV, sexual health and personal stories. It is an opportunity to raise awareness, network and exchange knowledge between professionals including midwives, health visitors, GPs, social workers, mental health and sexual health professionals and students.
Speaking ahead of the event, Karl Witty, Team Lead for CommUNIty Partnerships at Leeds Beckett, commented: “Pregnant asylum-seeking and refugee (AS&R) women face significant barriers to accessing and navigating maternity services. This event provides an opportunity for health professionals to learn more about the needs of pregnant AS&R women and how services can better meet these needs. Further to this, the event shines a light on the strength and resilience of AS&R women. The CommUNIty initiative at Leeds Beckett is extremely pleased to be supporting City of Sanctuary with this event.”
Shelley King, Maternity Stream Project Manager for City of Sanctuary, added: “We hope this event will benefit as many services, and therefore, women and babies in Leeds as possible. The conference is aimed at anyone who works with pregnant and postnatal asylum seekers and refugees. There will be fantastic speakers on subjects such as female genital mutilation (FGM), mental health, the asylum system and women speaking about their own experiences of maternity care as a refugee or asylum seeker.
“There is a great need for services and organisations to talk and work with each other in a more efficient way than is currently the case. This will enable more effective and efficient care for mother and baby. The conference is an opportunity to boost networking, share good practice and common concerns for maternity care givers in Leeds.”
CommUNIty is an initiative that builds sustainable partnerships between voluntary/community organisations and Leeds Beckett University with an emphasis on projects focused on health and wellbeing. The overarching goal is to find new, more effective ways to improve health and reduce health inequalities in communities.
For further information about the conference, please visit http://maternity.cityofsanctuary.org/