Published on Wed Sep 29 2021

The Effect of Conflict on Healthcare Workers in Syria: Results of a Qualitative Survey

Abdelrahman, S., Haar, R.

The purpose of this study is to understand how the conflict in Syria has affected Syrian healthcare workers. The study indicates that these factors require long-term consideration in order to protect healthcare workers and improve the health system.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to understand how the conflict in Syria, having devasted the healthcare system, has affected Syrian healthcare workers (Joseph et al. 2016). We provide a secondary analysis of a summer 2019 survey Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conducted with 82 Syrian healthcare workers living in neighbouring countries as well as in northeast and northwest Syria. Our descriptive analysis found that 48 participants reported an average of 16.52 hours of work per day, and 40 participants reported caring for an average of 43 patients per day while working in Syria during the conflict. Sixty-eight participants reported facing barriers to perform their work, and 59 participants reported facing risks as a medical professional. Seventy-one participants experienced traumatic events during their work as a medical professional, and 70 participants experienced stress in the month prior to being interviewed. This analysis illustrates the negative effect an armed conflict has on healthcare workers through disruptions in their workload, training and resources, barriers and risks faced, and mental health and security issues. The study indicates that these factors require long-term consideration in order to protect healthcare workers and improve the health system.