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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2013 Jul-Sep;28(3):290-302. doi: 10.1002/hpm.2193. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Reforms and emerging noncommunicable disease: some challenges facing a conflict-ridden country--the case of the Syrian Arab Republic.

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  • 1Wolfson College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. kas.sen@wolfson.ox.ac.uk


The past year witnessed considerable turbulence in the Arab world-in this case, Syria, a lower middle-income country with a record of a strong public health infrastructure. This paper explores the current challenges facing its health system from reforms, civil strife and international sanctions all of which we argue have serious implications for population health. The health sector in Syria was little known, and until recently, it was well integrated to provide preventive and specialized care when needed. Regionally, it was one of the few countries ready and capable of addressing the challenges of demographic and epidemiologic transition with a long-standing emphasis on primary care and prevention, unlike most countries of the region. This context has changed dramatically through the recent implementation of reforms and the current civil war. Changes to financing, management and the delivery of health service placed access to services in jeopardy, but now, these are compounded by the destruction from an intractable and violent conflict and international sanctions. This paper explores some of the combined effects of reforms, conflict and sanctions on population health.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


NCDs; Syria; health sector; reforms

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