Pediatric care during a short-term medical mission to a Syrian refugee camp in Northern Jordan
Kenneth L. Abbott, Catherine A. Woods, Dahlia A. Halim, Henna A. Qureshi
Avicenna Journal of Medicine
Introduction The Syrian refugee crisis, now in its 6th year, has displaced millions. Refugees depend on support from host nation governments and humanitarian organizations like the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). We describe the delivery of pediatric care during a SAMS short-term medical mission to a refugee camp in Northern Jordan. Methods The medical mission team encompassed dozens of specialties. Teams visited many sites, including the Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border. For this study, we gathered quantitative data from one physician who provided pediatric care and anecdotes from multiple SAMS physicians who provided pediatric care in Zaatari during the same time period. The physician supplying the quantitative data recorded age, diagnoses, and prescriptions for each patient. Results The physician saw an average of 69 patients per day. Many of these were children aged 0-4 years. At least one diagnosis was recorded for 73.9% of patients, and at least one prescription was recorded for 85.5% of patients. Discussion Most presenting complaints involved acute infectious illnesses, but these seemed preventable and related to refugees' living situations. Mental health assessment was difficult. Referrals proved important for evaluation and management of both acute and chronic conditions. For the short term, we emphasize the importance of effective liaison with refugee camp authorities and outside health-care organizations. For the long term, we recommend increased health-care infrastructure development and more emphasis on preventative care. Conclusion With this study, we provide new quantitative and qualitative insights into pediatric care during a short-term medical mission to a Syrian refugee camp in Northern Jordan.
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