Home Institution

University of Wisconsin

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Jordan: Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action


This study examines how, when and where Syrian refugee women living in a host community in central Jordan access health services related to noncommunicable diseases. Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, but can be effectively managed through timely treatment. Examining access to care for these diseases in the context of humanitarian emergencies, such as war and displacement, is particularly important because they require continuous care, which may be interrupted during emergencies, and because they can cause acute complications, which may be exacerbated by emergencies (WHO, 2016).

Previous studies indicate a high burden of NCDs among Syrian refugees living in Jordan. They also confirm that many Syrian refugees living in Jordanian host communities have difficulties accessing health services, and identify cost as the most formidable barrier to access. The cost of medications has emerged as particularly significant. This study, which also identifies cost as the most significant barrier in accessing health services, supports previous findings.

By analyzing ten in-depth interviews with Syrian refugee women living in central Jordan, this study builds on previous research through qualitative descriptions of barriers in accessing health services. Specifically, this study analyzes the ways in which barriers to accessing health services interact, concluding that problems in physical accessibility and, to a lesser extent, acceptability, often exacerbate cost-related barriers.

By analyzing the barriers Syrian refugee women encounter in accessing health services for NCDs, this research contributes to a body of knowledge that may be useful to a variety of actors (policy maker, NGOs, health services providers, etc.) seeking to improve access to health services and address NCDs among refugees living in Jordanian host communities.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Diseases | Family Medicine | Health Policy | Internal Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Other Medical Sciences | Women's Health


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