Responding to #health #emergencies in the Eastern #Mediterranean #region in times of #conflict (Lancet, summary)

[Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

Responding to health emergencies in the Eastern Mediterranean region in times of conflict

Richard Brennan, Rana Hajjeh, Ahmed Al-Mandhari

Published: March 02, 2020 / DOI:


WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) is facing emergencies on a scale that is perhaps unprecedented in its history. There is armed conflict in 12 of the region’s 22 countries.1, 2 The region’s 680 million people3 represent 9% of the global population, yet the EMR is home to 43% of those who need humanitarian assistance4  and is the source of 64% of the world’s refugees.5 The health effects of these crises are immense. Direct health consequences include trauma-related deaths and disability, gender-based violence, and mental disorders. Disruption of health systems contributes to increased morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases, malnutrition, obstetric complications, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Health indicators in the EMR are among the worst in the world.6



AA-M is WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. We declare no other competing interests.

Editorial note: the Lancet Group takes a neutral position with respect to territorial claims in published maps, content, and institutional affiliations.

Keywords: Society; Poverty; Wars; COVID-19; Pandemic preparedness.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.