The impact of armed conflict on health in Al-Raqqah governate, Syria

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master in International Health
Title The impact of armed conflict on health in Al-Raqqah governate, Syria
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Problem: The Syrian conflict can be described as one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of the 21st
century. In this complex emergency with overwhelming needs and limitations posed by lack of
resources, security constraints and restrictions, it is necessary for intervening medical actors to
develop medical strategies that are based on a thorough understanding of this context, main medical
needs and most vulnerable groups.
Objective and methods: This thesis discusses the direct and indirect effect of the war on healthdeterminants
and -outcomes and identifies the most vulnerable groups and important patterns in AlRaqqah
governate, Syria. An adjusted framework, based on the ‘conceptual framework on the impact
of armed conflict on health’ from Guha-Sapir en van Panhuis (2002) is used to assess the impact of
conflict on public health.
Main findings, conclusion and recommendation: Medical data illustrates an increase in infectious
diseases in addition to an important existing burden of non-communicable diseases, mental health
and nutritional problems, with children under five years, pregnant and lactating women, elderly,
internally displaced population and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable in the current context.
The medical landscape has changed and health seeking choices have become increasingly influenced
by security, availability and affordability of services. The primary focus should be on finding ways to
strengthen, support and expand the Primary Health Care (PHC). Mechanisms should be developed to
support referrals to specialized health care in more stable areas in or outside Syria. Interventions
require sustainable links within the community and demand strong collaboration between the
different medical actors.

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