The Global Health Institute (GHI) at the American University of Beirut have announced the first published articles as part of the upcoming “Political Economy of Health in Conflict” special issue in the Journal of Global Health.

Read the publications here.

The political economy of health in conflict: Lessons learned from three states in the Eastern Mediterranean Region during COVID-19

The Eastern Mediterranean Region continues to face a severe scale of emergencies as a direct result of conflict and political instability in a number of countries. As of 2020, nine countries out of 22 countries in the region affected by protracted and ongoing wars and conflict, left more than 62 million people in dire need of access to quality health care and adequate response measures. COVID-19 exacerbates the humanitarian needs of the people especially in countries that suffer from humanitarian crises, and drains the already overstretched health care systems. This study was conducted to derive major takeaways and lessons learned from the COVID-19 response in humanitarian and low resource settings that may assist similar vulnerable and fragile settings in different regions in view of a possible next pandemic. The study involved a desk review, document analysis, and key informant interviews with key stakeholders from the Eastern Mediterranean Region. A total of 35 key informant interviews were carried out with health professionals working in humanitarian and low resource settings in the region. This study focuses on the information gathered from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. A key finding of this study is that each of the nine pillars for COVID response has been implemented differently across the different countries. Although the nine pillars guide the overall response to COVID-19 in the region, they also provide countries with an important starting point and an important implementation tool.

Physical trauma and injury: A multicenter study comparing local residents and refugees in Lebanon

Refugees are susceptible to various types of injury mechanisms associated with their dire living conditions and settlements. This study aims to compare and characterize the emergency department admissions due to physical trauma and injuries among local residents and refugees in greater Beirut.

This epidemiological study analyzes injury incidence and characteristics of patients presenting to Emergency Departments of 5 sentinel hospitals between 2017 and 2019. Using the WHO Injury Surveillance Guidelines and Pan-Asia Trauma Outcomes Study form, an injury data surveillance form was designed and used in hospital settings to collect data on injuries. Chi-square test analysis was performed to determine differences in injury characteristics between local residents and refugees. Regression models were constructed to assess the effect of being a refugee on the characteristics of injuries and outcomes of interest.

Injury remains a major public health problem among resident and refugee communities in Beirut, Lebanon. Refugees face several injury-related vulnerabilities, which adversely affect their treatment outcomes and long-term disabilities. The high prevalence of occupational and violence-related injuries among refugees necessitates the introduction of targeted occupational safety and financial security interventions, aiming at reducing injuries while enhancing social justice among residents.