While conflict’s direct effects – deaths and injuries – often take the limelight, its indirect effects, including population displacement, infrastructure destruction and human insecurity commonly cause prolonged suffering that is greatly exacerbated by the length of conflict and persists long after direct hostilities cease. Though men tend to be affected more by the direct effects of a conflict, women and children, often held to be ‘vulnerable’ in context of conflict, are at much greater risk of suffering its indirect effects.
This series seeks to promote the accounts of healthcare professionals who have first-hand experience dealing with medical and health issues related to women and children in protracted conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In doing so, it addresses a gap often found in scholarship of health in conflict seen from a top-down perspective, and instead foregrounds the micro-level picture. The four pieces included in the series, therefore, highlight issues which are neither routinely discussed nor prioritized.
The first article discusses maternal, sexual, and reproductive health in the Gaza Strip, and the differential levels of healthcare accessible dependent upon whether an attack is ongoing or has recently ended. In the second piece, the author shares her experience working in refugee camps in Jordan, where gender-based violence and discrimination against women are prevalent. The third article sheds light on child development in Gaza and how it is exacerbated by continual psychological trauma inflicted because of the protracted conflict and blockade. The final piece describes difficulties children with craniofacial anomalies and their families experience in accessing the care their children need in the midst of conflict and political disputes.
Part I: Maternal and Reproductive Health in the Gaza Strip: the impact of years of blockade and conflict by Maisara Alrayyes
Part II: The Voice of Gender: Shedding Light on the Impact of Emergencies and Armed Conflicts on the Health and Safety of Women and Girls by Asmaa Essa
Part III: The hidden face of the blockade and wars: Palestinian children with psychological wounds by Bahzad Alakhras
Part IV: Children with craniofacial anomalies in the Gaza Strip: treatment options and access to care by Wafaa Alzaanin
 Craig, Sophia. “Effects of Conflict on Societies.” In Conflict and Health, 14–24. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education, 2012.
Dr Anas Ismail is studying an MSc in global health with conflict and security at KCL. He graduated as a medical doctor from Gaza. He is interested in studying impact of conflict on health, especially health services and delivery. He is the Production Manager at Strife blog and a Series Editor.