4 research outputs found

    "To die is better for me", social suffering among Syrian refugees at a noncommunicable disease clinic in Jordan: a qualitative study.

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    BACKGROUND: The conflict in Syria has required humanitarian agencies to implement primary-level services for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Jordan, given the high NCD burden amongst Syrian refugees; and to integrate mental health and psychosocial support into NCD services given their comorbidity and treatment interactions. However, no studies have explored the mental health needs of Syrian NCD patients. This paper aims to examine the interaction between physical and mental health of patients with NCDs at a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic in Irbid, Jordan, in the context of social suffering. METHODS: This qualitative study involved sixteen semi-structured interviews with Syrian refugee and Jordanian patients and two focus groups with Syrian refugees attending MSF's NCD services in Irbid, and eighteen semi-structured interviews with MSF clinical, managerial and administrative staff. These were conducted by research staff in August 2017 in Irbid, Amman and via Skype. Thematic analysis was used. RESULTS: Respondents describe immense suffering and clearly perceived the interconnectedness of their physical wellbeing, mental health and social circumstances, in keeping with Kleinman's theory of social suffering. There was a 'disconnect' between staff and patients' perceptions of the potential role of the NCD and mental health service in alleviating this suffering. Possible explanations identified included respondent's low expectations of the ability of the service to impact on the root causes of their suffering, normalisation of distress, the prevailing biomedical view of mental ill-health among national clinicians and patients, and humanitarian actors' own cultural standpoints. CONCLUSION: Syrian and Jordanian NCD patients recognise the psychological dimensions of their illness but may not utilize clinic-based humanitarian mental health and psychosocial support services. Humanitarian agencies must engage with NCD patients to elicit their needs and design culturally relevant services

    Analysis of health overseas development aid for internally displaced persons in low- and middle-income countries.

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    Background: There are an estimated 55 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) globally. IDPs commonly have worse health outcomes than host populations and other forcibly displaced populations such as refugees. Official development assistance (ODA) is a major source of the global financial response for health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including for populations affected by armed conflict and forced displacement. Analysis of ODA supports efforts to improve donor accountability, transparency and the equitable use of ODA. The aim of this study is to examine international donor support and responsiveness to IDP health needs through analysis of ODA disbursements to LMICs between 2010 and 2019. Methods: ODA disbursement data to LMICs from 2010 to 2019 were extracted from the Creditor Reporting System (CRS) database and analysed with Stata software using a combination of: (i) text searching for IDP and refugee related terms; and (ii) relevant health and humanitarian CRS purpose codes. Descriptive analysis was used to examine patterns of ODA disbursement, and nonlinear least squared regression analysis was used to examine responsiveness of ODA disbursement to recipient country IDP population size and health system capacity and health characteristics. Findings: The study highlighted declining per IDP capita health ODA from USD 5.34 in 2010 to USD 3.72 in 2019 (with annual average decline of -38% from the 2010 baseline). In contrast, health ODA for refugees in LMICs increased from USD 18.55 in 2010 to USD 23.31 in 2019 (with an annual average increase of +14%). Certain health topics for IDPs received very low ODA, with only 0.44% of IDP health ODA disbursed for non-communicable diseases (including mental health). There was also weak evidence of IDP health ODA being related to recipient country IDP population size, and health system capacity and health characteristics. The paper highlights the need for increased investment by donors in IDP health ODA and to ensure that it is responsive to their health needs

    Prevalence of non-communicable diseases and access to care among non-camp Syrian refugees in northern Jordan

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    Abstract Background Tackling the high non-communicable disease (NCD) burden among Syrian refugees poses a challenge to humanitarian actors and host countries. Current response priorities are the identification and integration of key interventions for NCD care into humanitarian programs as well as sustainable financing. To provide evidence for effective NCD intervention planning, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among non-camp Syrian refugees in northern Jordan to investigate the burden and determinants for high NCDs prevalence and NCD multi-morbidities and assess the access to NCD care. Methods We used a two-stage cluster design with 329 randomly selected clusters and eight households identified through snowball sampling. Consenting households were interviewed about self-reported NCDs, NCD service utilization, and barriers to care. We estimated the adult prevalence of hypertension, diabetes type I/II, cardiovascular- and chronic respiratory conditions, thyroid disease and cancer and analysed the pattern of NCD multi-morbidities. We used the Cox proportional hazard model to calculate the prevalence ratios (PR) to analyse determinants for NCD prevalence and logistic regression to determine risk factors for NCD multi-morbidities by calculating odds ratios (ORs). Results Among 8041 adults, 21.8%, (95% CI: 20.9–22.8) suffered from at least one NCD; hypertension (14.0, 95% CI: 13.2–14.8) and diabetes (9.2, 95% CI: 8.5–9.9) were the most prevalent NCDs. NCD multi-morbidities were reported by 44.7% (95% CI: 42.4–47.0) of patients. Higher age was associated with higher NCD prevalence and the risk for NCD-multi-morbidities; education was inversely associated. Of those patients who needed NCD care, 23.0% (95% CI: 20.5–25.6) did not seek it; 61.5% (95% CI: 54.7–67.9) cited provider cost as the main barrier. An NCD medication interruption was reported by 23.1% (95% CI: 20–4-26.1) of patients with regular medication needs; predominant reason was unaffordability (63.4, 95% CI: 56.7–69.6). Conclusion The burden of NCDs and multi-morbidities is high among Syrian refugees in northern Jordan. Elderly and those with a lower education are key target groups for NCD prevention and care, which informs NCD service planning and developing patient-centred approaches. Important unmet needs for NCD care exist; removing the main barriers to care could include cost-reduction for medications through humanitarian pricing models. Nevertheless, it is still essential that international donors agencies and countries fulfill their commitment to support the Syrian-crisis response