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Recent Reports and Briefs

North West Syria: A Humanitarian Catastrophe

On 28th February 2020 we launched this policy brief in which we summarised the situation where a further escalation of violence since 1st December 2019 has driven more than 948,000 of 3.7 million people in the area from their homes; 81% are women and children. In this brief, we highlight key health and humanitarian issues and recommendations for action; the first recommendation is of course the cessation of violence as without this, civilians will continue to suffer under bombardment.

COVID-19 in Syria: Current situation and Policy Recommendations

In May 2020, we launched our policy report which summarises key aspects relating to COVID-19 in Syria, documenting existing, documenting existing vulnerabilities and proposing locally appropriate policy recommendations. This report has been developed by the Syria Public Health Network in close collaboration with Syrians working on the response inside Syria. Information and statistics are correct at time of publishing.

See also two complementary articles written by SPHN steering committee members:

COVID-19 response in northwest Syria: innovation and community engagement in a complex conflict
By: Ekzayez A, Khalil M, Jasiem M, Saleh R, Alzoubi Z, Meagher K, Patel P. Journal: Journal of Public Health

Coronavirus 2019 and Health Systems Affected by Protracted Conflict: The Case of Syria
By: Abbara A, Rayes D, Fahham O, Alhiraki OA, Khalil M, Alomar A, Tarakji A. Journal: IJID

Policy brief - Syria’s health: the silent burden of chronic diseases

Our June 2016 session on non-communicable diseases was our first hosted by Chatham House; we are grateful for this collaboration which led to high profile participation. The brief is found here. Highlights of the meeting include recommendations about the promotion of steps towards universal health care in the region (for both Syrians and non-Syrians), streamlining service delivery to ensure quality of service provision for NCDs, building capacity including efforts to include Syrian health workers and strengthening data and health information systems relevant to NCDs.


Download this file (NCD SPHN report.pdf)NCD SPHN report.pdf[ ]178 kB

Syria Public Health Network calls for stronger evidence to guide interventions for displaced Syrians

For the 2016 donor conference in London, the Syria Public Health Network produced a briefing outlining the scope and scale of the health challenges arising from the Syria crisis and key policy priorities in the following months and years. The briefing drew together findings across a series of events that the Network has held before the meeting, and a comment piece focusing on mental health needs that was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2016 (available here - free link).

One of the issues highlighted in the briefing – which has been sent to the British government – is the shortage of evidence to guide interventions for displaced Syrians. The full briefing is available here: Syria health policy brief_London Conf_Final.3rdFebruary2016

This work has been covered in a press release issued by the University of Cambridge, which is available here.

Policy Brief: Syria’s Health: Focus on Mental Health

On 21st September, the Network hosted a workshop on mental health among Syrians (both in-country and externally displaced). Presentations covered the changing burden of mental ill-health since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, and practitioner perspectives from medical professionals and organisations providing programmes for refugees in surrounding countries.

A short summary of key findings from the event is available here: Syria Mental Health Policy Brief.

The event was also covered in a recent blog from Medecins du Monde Middle East.