Syria: health in a country undergoing tragic transition

Int J Public Health. 2015 Jan:60 Suppl 1:S63-72. doi: 10.1007/s00038-014-0586-2. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


Objectives: To document the ongoing destruction as a result of the tragic events in Syria, to understand the changing health care needs and priorities of Syrians.

Methods: A directed examination of the scientific literature and reports about Syria before and during the Syrian conflict, in addition to analyzing literature devoted to the relief and rebuilding efforts in crisis situations.

Results: The ongoing war has had high direct war casualty, but even higher suffering due to the destruction of health system, displacement, and the breakdown of livelihood and social fabric. Millions of Syrians either became refugees or internally displaced, and about half of the population is in urgent need for help. Access to local and international aid organizations for war-affected populations is an urgent and top priority.

Conclusions: Syrians continue to endure one of the biggest human tragedies in modern times. The extent of the crisis has affected all aspects of Syrians' life. Understanding the multi-faceted transition of the Syrian population and how it reflects on their health profile can guide relief and rebuilding efforts' scope and priorities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Food Supply
  • Health Priorities
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status
  • Human Rights
  • Humans
  • Mortality
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Syria
  • Warfare*