Network for research on death, dying and end of life care among Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Project description

The Syrian Civil War has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in history. Around 5 million Syrians have fled their country to escape the prolonged horror and violence of the conflict and more than one million of them are in Lebanon. Over 4000 refugees cross into Lebanon on a daily basis, overwhelming its already fragile social, political, and economic infrastructure. On reaching Lebanon, new troubles confront the Syrian refugees who must now endure the suffering and hardships of the temporary camps.
This refugee movement has put a huge strain on the resources and capacity of the Lebanese government and local communities. The Lebanese health system has seen a massive influx of additional demand and is struggling to cope. One particular aspect of the problem is the suffering of older refugees. Often at the bottom of the pecking order, the needs of older refugees are frequently neglected, unrecognised or ignored. Yet about a half of these older people are known to have chronic health problems and are at risk of dying through lack of access to healthcare. Others have advanced disease and require palliative treatments to manage pain and other symptoms.
Very little is known about how these treatment and end of life care needs are being addressed. Although some palliative care services exist in Lebanon they have limited resources and lack the capacity to deal with the level of need in the refugee camps. Yet palliative care availability and access have been acknowledged as fundamental human rights.
The main purposes of the project are therefore: 1) to strengthen research capacity to investigate end of life care issues and needs among refugees 2) to enhance related cooperation and coordination between researchers in Lebanon and the UK in order to build capacity for high quality new studies and interventions that can address these problems.
To foster such a network, the project will bring together a mixture of expertise in special workshops focussed on end of life care for refugees in Lebanon. It will conduct a rapid appraisal of the issues and look at ways to develop research responses. It will provide mentoring and training to local researchers from international experts in order to build expertise and capacity. It will also lead to a short film on the issue to raise awareness and sensitize others to the issue.
By these means the network will contribute to the development of research, policies and plans to promote end of life care for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The lessons learned will in turn be relevant to other similar humanitarian emergencies elsewhere.


First name Last name Gender Rank Affiliated Institution Country
Abla Sibai Male American University of Beirut Lebanon




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Public Health

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