Changing therapeutic geographies of the Iraqi and Syrian wars

Lancet. 2014 Feb 1;383(9915):449-57. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62299-0. Epub 2014 Jan 20.


The health consequences of the ongoing US-led war on terror and civil armed conflicts in the Arab world are much more than the collateral damage inflicted on civilians, infrastructure, environment, and health systems. Protracted war and armed conflicts have displaced populations and led to lasting transformations in health and health care. In this report, we analyse the effects of conflicts in Iraq and Syria to show how wars and conflicts have resulted in both the militarisation and regionalisation of health care, conditions that complicate the rebuilding of previously robust national health-care systems. Moreover, we show how historical and transnational frameworks can be used to show the long-term consequences of war and conflict on health and health care. We introduce the concept of therapeutic geographies--defined as the geographic reorganisation of health care within and across borders under conditions of war.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data
  • Geography, Medical
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Iraq
  • Military Medicine
  • Politics
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data
  • Syria
  • Urban Health
  • Warfare*
  • Workplace Violence