Symposium on the Impact of Conflict on Health
|CRPH hosts seminar on effect of wars on health
The Faculty of Health Sciences Center for Research on Population and Health, with the collaboration of the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University, held a panel discussion entitled “Understanding the Impacts of Conflict and Wars on Health: Bridging Research and Practice,” in Van Dyck from March 16 to 18. The symposium’s main purpose was to “bring together researchers, professors, and scholars from different parts of the world to begin a dialogue centered on health and conflict,” said Professor Nasser Yassin, coordinator of the event.
Twenty participants from Europe, the United States, and the region gave presentations ranging from “War and Male Infertility” by Marcia Inhorn from Yale University to “Developing Emergency Services for Victims of Conflict” by Ali Sindi from the Kurdistan Institute of Public Administration. Presenters also included Dr. Kaveh Khoshnood of Yale University, who gave a paper entitled “Conflict Epidemiology: Bringing Epidemiology to the Realm of Human Rights; AUB’s Nasser Yassin, who gave “Beyond Bio and Chemo Terrorism: Presenting a Non- Western View of the Health Impacts of Terrorism;” and Nefissa Naguib from UNIFOB, the Global University of Bergen, who talked about armed conflicts and women’s health in Palestine. According to Professor Yassin, “The region has been suffering from conflict for many years, but to approach it from a different perspective and a different point of view is what is important to us.”
The first day of the symposium highlighted the importance of dealing with this issue in Lebanon, a country which witnessed many violent events during the civil war years and after the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2006.
Although the first two days of the symposium allowed the presenters to expose their research in closed sessions to “establish a research network in the Middle East and North Africa to work on health,” the third day comprised open sessions in which experts gave their feedback. Presenters included Dr. Kaveh Khoshnood, Yale University; Dr. Alissar Rady, World Health Organization; Dr. Sati Arnaout, Nahr al-Bared Reconstruction Unit at the Lebanese Prime Minister’s Office; Hassan Ammar, Islamic Health Society; and Professor Mounir Mabsout, director of AUB’s Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service. The sessions brought together practitioners from Lebanon who work in the area of health and conflict. “The thought behind the open sessions,” said Yassin, “was to open up to the public.”
On one hand, Khoshnood suggested strongly that for war
to be avoided, nations need to be more involved in the politics of war. On the other hand, Mabsout shed light on the important role
of the academic institution, especially of AUB, in the July 2006 war aid efforts.