It is only logical for the prevalence of impairment and disability to peak during conflicts as it is estimated that there are 3-5 cases of injury for every death case from armed conflict. In Syria, the latest documented death toll was 190,000, which makes the number of estimated injured people 570,000 to almost 1,000,000 cases.
Disability is observed in the areas with relentless conflict like (Ar-Raqqa, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Deir-ez-Zor and rural Damascus). During the first 5 years of the Syrian conflict number of PWDs have increased up to 27%, reaching up to 1.
5 million PWDs while in 2018 they have reached up to 2.9 million as per the Syria Humanitarian needs overview (2018). (OCHA, 2017)
Health services during conflicts confront enormous obligations, injuries resulting from the crisis always take the priority linked with its great demand leaving fewer resources for PWDs that is not caused by hostilities. In addition, 45% of PWDs are living with permanent disabilities such as amputation, spinal cord injury and brain injury. In 2018, a survey was done among PWDs in Syria, where over 60% stated that their disability condition has exacerbated because of the crisis, highlighting some common reasons like the lack of accessibility to health centres and inability to meet their basic needs.
There are four factors limiting the identifying and quantifying of PWDs: Understanding of disability and sharing the same view by all stakeholders, in particular the shift from the medical to the social model. Personal perceptions effect in data collection associated with stigmatization. Ununified disability definition by all responsible parties. Extinguishing the link between structure and entities by the conflict data collection (Paula Frederica Hunt, 2018).
The resulting tremendous number of war-born injuries and impairments is an ongoing health and a latent socioeconomic problem.
The ongoing health problem is a life-threatening situation either through the direct severe trauma or secondary complication resulting from poor primary health care and insufficient rehabilitation.
National services for the rehabilitation and support of PWDs in Syria are in no position to cope with the consequences of the conflict. According to the National Disability Strategy (2011): Work doesn’t only affect the economic status of a person but also their mental wellbeing and social status. It raises their independency and living quality which as a result affects their self-identity image.
The latent socioeconomic problem will result from the fact that non-rehabilitated persons with disabilities are fully dependent on family members and care givers in conducting activities of daily life. This factor will further exclude a bigger portion of society from social and economic life and will gradually present its negative impact on early socioeconomic recovery and development.
There is no official assessment has been conducted so far to capture and assess the status of PWDs inside Syria. Adding the effect of the ongoing crisis on increased vulnerability and prevalence of impairment, Syria struggled and keep struggling with number of challenges for transitioning for the inclusion of PWDs.
In camps, it is even harder for PWDs to have any chance of employment, they usually have to deal with a huge social attitude let along the legal barriers made specially for outlanders and refugees. (Oxford, 2007)
Many people are unable to work due to injury or the need to care for others, hence, access to livelihood opportunities is limited. In households with injured males, which are considered mostly the breadwinner of the households, women often fulfill the role of caretaker, thus limiting the availability of a travel companion when accessing care. (OCHA, 2019) During the discussions in FGD3 all participants with prosthetic devices have stated that they have become more active since having the device and are more independent doing daily activities. All 5 women said they participate in house chores normally. 7 out of 10 go out of the house on a daily basis though only 4 for work. 6 are war injured while 2 of the women have narrated losing children and/or their partner during the war. 2 of them only have continued their studies beyond high school. One women have participated in a vocational training for sewing, although she was one of the best students during the training, coming from a conservative community, her family did not support the idea a female working, she is currently unemployed and living with a spinal cord injury, she is working on her independency through physical therapy sessions and has the ambitious to work but her family’s views and fears from the society’s reaction towards her disability are stopping her from moving forward.
In FGD1 it was majorly noted that persons with hearing disability face the most rejection by business owners to be employed, one example was a female with a hearing disability, Rahaf Youssef. Rahaf is a 25 year old women from Tartous governorate, she has continued her education beyond high school and worked on having an active social life, compared with the efforts made to be independent and empowered, all job opportunities if any offered to her are with low income that is a painter or waiter, Rahaf likes photography and wants to work in the administrative field in the privet sector, such job she believes will never be offered to her regardless of the educational certificates she holds thereupon due to her hearing disability.
A huge debate was initiated when the modern approach was explained to this group of PWDs, the society was blamed for being the major reason behind the bad situation PWDs live with in Syria, while other blamed PWDs themselves on treating themselves as less of value then persons without disability and resting back their rights without fighting for a high-quality life.
Disability is part of human diversity, and it is part of a personal character or identity. It could be a severe disability that affects a personal life completely, or sometimes it might have a minimal effect on a personal’s behavior. Disability sources differ from diseases, incidents, wars, or congenital. Its existence also differs from permanent to temporary, hidden or shown.
Almost every family Syria had been touched by disability with a close or relatively close member of the family, it was considered by many interlocutors as an issue with which everyone in Syria can relate to and can be inspired and compelled to act upon. Yet the way people view PWDs and the wide spread judgmental attitude in the society is a strong challenge to knock out.
Even when it comes to self-perception many PWDs call their disability as an illness or a circumstance of life and they find no shame in disability although they have gone through bullying, mocking and lack of respect from others specifically children with disability. An example to glorify the judgmental attitude is represented in the answers of teachers of children with disability in FGD made by UN agencies; teachers have stated that children with disabilities are slower learners and have comprehension and mental problems and they are under the level of children without disabilities regardless of the disability type or severity (Paula Frederica Hunt, 2018).
During FGD1, it has been stated that the Syrian society has contradicted views towards disability; indeed some families are ashamed from having children with disabilities to an extent where families might lock in their disabled children, so no one can see them and stigmatize the whole family because of that disability, another view would be fear for the safety of their wellbeing, parents might limit children participation in activities due to their over protective attitude and fear of any harm or decrease in their wellbeing status specially those not born with their disability
Cite this Impairment and Disability to Peak During Conflicts
Impairment and Disability to Peak During Conflicts. (2021, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/impairment-and-disability-to-peak-during-conflicts/