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Lifesaving Activities in a Context of Armed Conflict: A case study of surgery in Syria
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this theses is to describe and discuss the surgical caseload seen in an armed conflicts. To answer to this aim a secondary data review over relevant research in this field and a secondary analysis of quantitative data from an operating theatre in a field hospital in Jabal al-Akkrad, Syria were analysed.

Armed conflict have devastating effects on people and societies. Public health system will be destroyed or disrupted which are the systems supporting essential needs in a population. There are four essential needs identified vital for the survival of populations. These are water and sanitation, food, shelter and health care and destruction of these services result in increased number of morbidities and mortalities. Armed conflicts are causing direct and indirect health consequences that need to be addressed. The health care response should cover both preventive and curative health services to meet the needs of both the direct and indirect consequences of armed conflicts. Surgical care is a curative and important component of public health. The burden of unmet surgical diseases globally is assumed to be large but the true scope is not really known. Obstetric cases and accidental trauma are causing a great number of morbidities and disabilities annually due to the limited access to surgical care. The experience form humanitarian programs show that the bigger number of surgical interventions performed in situations of armed conflict are unrelated to violence trauma. In the data analysis from the Syrian case 712 patients were admitted to the operating theatre and treated during the time period. The surgical services provided in the field hospital in Syria responded to emergencies belonging to four causes of interventions; Obstetrics, Violence trauma, Accidental trauma and Other cases not of a trauma origin. Obstetric emergencies accounted for nearly 30 % of the surgical caseload seen and violence trauma represented 50 % of the surgical caseload. The larges patient group were female civilians. The majority of violence trauma were among the male patients. Research from conflict affected surgical programs are poor and need to be enforced to improve the understanding of health needs of conflict affected populations. The research available highlights the need of a multidisciplinary surgical response to meet the need of both non-conflict related and conflict related surgical cases. The thesis contributes with data analysis from surgical response in conflict affected areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 81 p.
Keyword [en]
armed conflict, war, surgery, public health, humanitarian, Syria
National Category
Surgery Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270524OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270524DiVA: diva2:889938
Subject / course
International Humanitarian Action
Educational program
Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action
Available from: 2016-01-03 Created: 2015-12-29 Last updated: 2016-01-03Bibliographically approved

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