Health Science Journal

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The Provision of Health Services in Jordan to Syrian Refugees

Amjed S Al-Fahoum, Marianna Diomidous, Aggelos Mechili, Olga Archangelidi, Panos Theodoromanolakis and John Mantas

Objectives: Current estimates cite more than 100,000 casualties from war in Syria, with 5,000 deaths reported each month since the violence escalated in the summer of 2012. With up to 3,500 Syrians crossing the borders every day, the rate at which refugees have poured over Syria's southern border has outstripped the ability of the Jordanian government and the international community to ensure adequate access to health services for refugees living inside Zaatari, the main refugee camp, and those dispersed throughout Jordan. Study design: The purpose of our study is to explore refugees' attitudes towards health services (i.e. evaluation of the adequacy of health care services and the degree of their satisfaction by the services provided). Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. Data collection with the use of questionnaires took place from August 1 to October 30, 2013 in Irbid, Jordan. The questionnaires consisted of questions concerning demographic information (e.g. age, gender, marital status, education etc.), medical information about the state of their health, and problems they encounter during their stay in the camp, as well as questions related to evaluation of their access to health services (self-reported questionnaires). The sample population is 120 refugees (65% females, 35% males). Results: Approximately 75% of people in the refugee camp argued that they received insufficient health care services, with a 43% of people predicted that their health condition in future will significantly exacerbate. The probability of someone with poor health status to report an inadequate health service highly increases by 41.1 percentage points compared to someone that have a good health status. A strong association was found between a negative evaluation of health services and future projections of health status. Those who believed that would have an exacerbation in their health status increased their probability to report poor health services by 36.2 percentage points, while the probability of reporting positive health care services evaluation decreased by 16.2 percentage points. Conclusions: The provision of health services to Syrian refuges in Jordan is in fairly good level. This is shown by the survey results, although in some cases there are several weaknesses and problems that certainly need to be addressed. One of the most positive is the safety that these people feel to their new place of residence. However, the challenges are enough and can only be solved with the international community help.