This article was originally published here
J Glob Health. 12 Feb 2022;12:07001. doi: 10.7189/jogh.12.07001. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: The Eastern Mediterranean Region continues to face a serious scale of emergencies resulting directly from conflict and political instability in a number of countries. In 2020, nine out of 22 countries in the region affected by protracted and ongoing wars and conflicts, left more than 62 million people in dire need of access to quality health care and response measures adequate. COVID-19 is exacerbating the humanitarian needs of the population, especially in countries suffering from humanitarian crises, and straining already overstretched health systems. This study was conducted to draw key lessons and learnings from the response to COVID-19 in humanitarian and low-resource settings that could help similar vulnerable and fragile settings in different regions in preparation for a possible next pandemic.
METHODS: The study involved desk study, document analysis and key informant interviews with key stakeholders in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
RESULTS: A total of 35 key informant interviews were conducted with health professionals working in low-resource and humanitarian settings in the region. This study focuses on information collected in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
CONCLUSIONS: One of the main findings of this study is that each of the nine pillars of the COVID response has been implemented differently in different countries. While the nine pillars guide the overall response to COVID-19 in the region, they also provide countries with an important starting point and an important implementation tool.