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Cash transfers are an increasingly common intervention in the Syrian refugee response to meet basic needs. However there is little known of their potential secondary impact on health outcomes in humanitarian settings.

A quasi-experimental prospective cohort study was implemented from October 2018 through January 2020 to assess the effectiveness of multi-purpose cash, community health volunteer-led education, combined with conditional cash transfers with respect to health measures among Syrian refugees with type II diabetes in Jordan.

The study found combined conditional cash and health education were effective in improving expenditures, health service utilisation, medication adherence, blood pressure, and diabetes control. The lower cost health education intervention was similarly effective in improving diabetes control, whereas unconditional cash transfers alone were least effective. Study findings suggest that conditional cash or combined cash and health education are promising strategies to support diabetes control among refugees and that where the purpose of MPC is to improve health outcomes, this alone is insufficient to achieve improvements in the health of refugees with diabetes.

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