'Lack of condoms' in war-torn regions

A lack of condoms and other means of contraceptives are playing a huge role in escalating levels of unwanted pregnancies in lands torn apart through war.

New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Conflict and Health has shown that just four to 16 per cent of women who want to limit childbearing in regions such as Congo and Darfur have the means to use such prophylactics.

The study suggested this lack of availability is an extra burden for females already affected by the pressures of fighting and displacement.

Dr Therese McGinn, an associate professor of population and family health at Columbia's Mailman School - which has been in operation since 1922 - said: "It is vitally important that family planning services are made available for conflict-affected men and women as part of strengthening local health services and aid packages."

She added it is "clear" that women living in such regions have little or no access to the services they require.