Challenges of providing healthcare worker education and training in protracted conflict: a focus on non-government controlled areas in north west Syria

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Title: Challenges of providing healthcare worker education and training in protracted conflict: a focus on non-government controlled areas in north west Syria
Authors: Bdaiwi, Y
Rayes, D
Sabouni, A
Murad, L
Fouad, F
Zakaria, W
Hariri, M
Ekzayez, A
Tarakji, A
Abbara, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Without healthcare workers (HCWs), health and humanitarian provision in Syria cannot be sustained either now or in the post-conflict phase. The protracted conflict has led to the exodus of more than 70% of the healthcare workforce. Those remaining work in dangerous conditions with insufficient resources and a healthcare system that has been decimated by protracted conflict. For many HCWs, particularly those in non-government-controlled areas (NGCAs) of Syria, undergraduate education and postgraduate training has been interrupted with few opportunities to continue. In this manuscript, we explore initiatives present in north west Syria at both undergraduate and postgraduate level for physician and non-physician HCWs. Conclusion: Challenges to HCW education in north west Syria can be broadly divided into 1. Organisational (local healthcare leadership and governance, coordination and collaboration between stakeholders, competition between stakeholders and insufficient funding.) 2. Programmatic (lack of accreditation or recognition of qualifications, insufficient physical space for teaching, exodus of faculty affecting teaching and training, prioritisation of physicians over non-physicians, informally trained healthcare workers.) 3. Healthcare system related (politicisation of healthcare system, changing healthcare needs of the population, ongoing attacks on healthcare.) Locally implementable strategies including dedicated funding are key to supporting retention of HCWs and return during post-conflict reconstruction.
Issue Date: 8-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance: 11-Jun-2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13031-020-00287-9
ISSN: 1752-1505
Publisher: BioMed Central
Start Page: 1
End Page: 13
Journal / Book Title: Conflict and Health
Volume: 14
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2020-07-08
Appears in Collections:Department of Infectious Diseases
Faculty of Medicine

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons