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Principal Investigator: Rohini Haar, University of California at Berkeley


The study seeks to understand the nature and severity of impacts of attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Syria. It will investigate the impacts on availability and utilisation of services as well as on health outcomes.

Expected Outcomes

The study addresses a critical topic: the intermediate and long-term effects of bombing health clinics on the community’s health is largely unknown, and the numbers of these attacks has risen globally. Findings will inform health service programme planning and preparedness in conflict and post-conflict Syria, and present a model for monitoring public health vulnerabilities stemming from attacks on health in other contexts.

Rohini Haar

Principal Investigator

Attacks on hospitals are a violation of international humanitarian law. But they are also a deep and long-term attack on public health. It is critical to understand and better address the true impact of these attacks on health systems and health outcomes. In Syria where the attacks have been so egregious, this information can assist in advocacy, policy change, accountability and vitally, in programs that address specifically how these attacks impact health

Research Methodology (brief summary)

The study will use a multi-disciplinary, mixed-methods approach:

  • Quantitative data analysis, including epidemiological/biostatistical analysis, as well as geo-temporal visualisation and mapping techniques will be used to assess the health impacts of attacks on health by examining service availability and utilisation, as well as disease incidence.
  • Qualitative key informant interviews will be conducted with health workers and administrators to understand how such attacks influence their decision-making and response.
  • Case studies, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, will assist in an in-depth exploration of attacks that most profoundly affected service availability and utilisation.

Findings will be synthesised and participatory methods used to solicit local and global stakeholder insights on implications for humanitarian health programme planning, preparedness and reconstruction efforts.

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