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Running head: WATER AND SANITATION AMONG REFUGEES IN SYRIAWater and Sanitation Among Syria’s Internally Displaced PersonsStudent’s NameInstitutional Affiliation
WATER AND SANITATION AMONG REFUGEES IN SYRIA2Water and Sanitation Among Syria’s Internally Displaced PersonsIntroductionHealth is a universal human right. Every person on the globe is entitled to the highestattainable physical and mental wellbeing (Abbara et al, 2015). Provision of healthcareservices is largely a function of the government in most countries. Health is a very key areaof interest in any population since it directly determines lots of factors such as productivity. Ifthe workforce is to be productive, they should enjoy both physical and mental wellbeing(Almoshmosh, 2015). If this wellbeing is not achieved, the workforce is weak andunproductive. Ill health also leads to higher costs of healthcare leading to disease burden.There are several factors that determine health. These could be political, social,economic etc. For one to fully understand a healthcare system, they must consider all thesefactors that play together to influence health. It is very unlikely to find a situation where onlyone factor determines health. In most situations, it is an interaction of various factors thatinfluence health. One category of these are the social determinants. Social determinants ofhealth imply the conditions that people are born into, grow, live. It also includes theconditions in which people work and age. These factors are greatly shaped by the howmoney, power and resources are distributed. The distribution of resources on theinternational, national and local levels inevitably determine the health status of individuals(Adler et al, 2016). Social determinants of health play the greatest role in shaping health.According toBraveman and Gottlieb (2014), due to these determinants there existsinequalities between countries and regions in as far as provision of quality healthcare isconcerned.Some proportions of the population are more at risk of ill health than others. Theseinclude the children below the age of five years. Another category is the people displaced
WATER AND SANITATION AMONG REFUGEES IN SYRIA3from their homes due to factors such civil wars. These groups face unique challenges thatmake them more susceptible to more health. The social determinants of health are also variedand include colonisation, urbanization, social exclusion and water and sanitation. This essayis going to discuss water and sanitation as a social determinant of health among internallydisplaced persons in Syria. The essay is going to demonstrate that this section of thepopulation is affected by water and sanitation challenges and show why the selectedpopulation is relevant. In addition, possible solutions to the negative impacts posed by waterand sanitation challenges will be discussed.Social Determinant of Health and the Population to be Discussed.As indicated in the introduction, the social determinant of health that will be discussedis water and sanitation. Around the world, there are great improvements made when it comesto access of clean water and sanitation (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).However, there is still a lot more to be done to make sure that the largest proportion of theworld’s population has access to clean water and sanitation. Today, there are about 2.4 billionpeople in the world who do not utilise sanitation that is improved. It is also saddening thatanother 663 million of the world’s population do no have access to the improved sources ofwater (Lonergan, 2018).To demonstrate the global importance of improving water andsanitation, it would be appropriate to note that more than 800 children lose their lives eachday due to poor water and sanitation (Marmot and Allen 2014). Water is an indispensablecomponent of the human diet. There is therefore great need to improve the water andsanitation to avoid infections and illnesses.The chosen population is refugees who are internally displaced in Syria. There hasbeen a civil war in Syria since 2011. This war has posed great challenges to the people livingin Syria. The war has resulted to at least 6.0 million ordinary people being internally
WATER AND SANITATION AMONG REFUGEES IN SYRIA4displaced (Piper et al, 2017). Another 5.6 million has fled out of the country to seek refugeelsewhere. Before the war began, the largest proportion of the population (more than 90%) ofSyria had access to clean water and sanitation. In the present day, less than half of thepopulation has access to clean water and sanitation. Factors such as explosion of the waterpipes and displacement from homes have contributed to this situation. In addition to thechallenge of water and sanitation, healthcare in general has greatly deteriorated. For instance,the vaccination coverage prior to war was estimated to be 90%. In the current day, the ratehas dropped to below 50% in some regions of the country (Sikder, Daraz, Lantagne andSaltori, 2018).The internally displaced persons have more challenges when it comes to theissue of water and sanitation.Impacts of Poor Water and Sanitation on Internally Displaced Persons in Syria.As seen in the discussion, water and sanitation has greatly deteriorated due to the civilwar experienced in the last seven years in Syria. Compared to the situation before the crisis,availability of drinking water has reduced to an average of half. In some regions, such as AsSalamia and Aleppo the conditions are worse with the water availability levels havingreduced to about 80% of the situation prior to crisis (King, 2015). The major causes of thedeterioration of the water and sanitation levels are going to be mentioned next. One is that thecurrent water supplies are inadequate to supply the large number of people. Certain groupssuch as the internally displaced are mainly affected due to their large numbers. The secondmajor cause is the shutdown of electricity supply systems. The shutdown is largely deliberateand causes significant disruption of water supply. The third and final major cause isdamaging of the gas-fed power generation system. It goes without saying the denselypopulated regions are likely to experience greater challenges. This is the case with internallydisplaced people. With this general overview of the situation the impacts of poor water andsanitation among the internally displaced persons are going to be outlined.