Challenges of Providing Healthcare Worker Education and Training in Protracted Conflict (Syria Case)

Bdaiwi, Y., Rayes, D., Sabouni, A. et al.
Publication language
Date published
08 Jul 2020
Conflict and Health, Springer
Research, reports and studies
Working in conflict setting, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Education, Health, humanitarian action, Syria crisis

Without healthcare workers, 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 healthcare workers, 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 healthcare workers.

The conclusion finds that challenges to healthcare workers' education in north west Syria can be broadly divided into three areas:

  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.
Bdaiwi, Y., Rayes, D., Sabouni, A. et al.