Over the past six years, nearly 5 million people have fled the conflict in Syria and sought refuge in neighboring countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) such as Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, and OECD countries such as Turkey, Germany, Sweden or Austria.
The consequences of this mass exodus have been particularly profound in the healthcare sector, affecting not only the displaced populations themselves but also the host communities. Many countries are now struggling to provide basic health services, with health facilities and service providers in some cases stretched to the limits as demands on the healthcare system have grown. Amid this ongoing conflict, many Syrian health workers have also fled their homeland and become refugees themselves.
Within this context, health sectors are trying to adapt to meet the growing demands of their communities and address rapidly evolving health needs (i.e. non-communicable diseases, reproductive and maternal and child health, mental health, etc.). International support for these efforts will be critical, and a health workforce that is sufficient in number and adequately trained a precondition.
To address some of the above challenges, this workshop has been organized for MENA and OECD stakeholders to share strategies for integrating and strengthening the Syrian refugee health workforce within host countries. With appropriate training, accreditation, and other support, Syrian and refugee health professionals who are currently underutilized or not adequately trained might be better positioned to help address the prevailing health needs of refugees and host populations alike.
The objective of the workshop is to discuss challenges and opportunities for strengthening the numbers and competencies of refugee health professionals in host countries to better address prevailing local health needs. Maintaining and developing skills of displaced Syrian and other refugee health workers will be of critical interest not only for meeting current health needs but also for anticipating future rebuilding efforts.
The workshop aims to learn from the heterogeneity of knowledge and experience of federal and local governments, health workers, educational centers and support organizations, both in MENA and OECD countries and globally, in order to identify targeted areas for investment and support to the Syrian health workforce, refugees and host populations.
The two day workshop is designed for governments, organizations, and stakeholders who are affected and have experience, knowledge, and expertise in the above topics. Participants will include Syrian refugee and host community health professionals; MENA and OECD governments; academia including deans of training centers and medical schools; donors; and associations and global medical education partnerships such as the Global Platform for Syrian Students.
The workshop will focus on sharing knowledge and producing innovative strategies around three main topics:
The Programme (Concept note, agenda, participants list and background paper)