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1.
BMJ Case Rep ; 15(6)2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35764334

ABSTRACT

We review the case of an unstable gynaecological patient in the USA who presented with profuse vaginal bleeding after spontaneous miscarriage and was ultimately diagnosed with a uterine arteriovenous malformation managed with interventional radiology embolisation of her uterine artery. Her case was complicated by the presence of an ankle monitoring device which had been placed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of the Alternatives to Detention programme in which she was enrolled during her immigration proceedings. The device prompted important considerations regarding the potential use of cautery, MRI compatibility and device-related trauma, in addition to causing significant anxiety for the patient, who was concerned about how the team's actions could affect her immigration case. Discussion of her course and shared perspective highlights the unique clinical and medicolegal considerations presented by the expanded use of ankle monitoring devices for electronic surveillance (or 'e-carceration') of non-violent immigrants and others.


Subject(s)
Emigrants and Immigrants , Emigration and Immigration , Ankle , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans
2.
Health Hum Rights ; 24(1): 59-75, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35747287

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the lack of resources and oversight that hinders medical care for incarcerated people in the United States. The US Supreme Court has held that "deliberate indifference" to "serious medical needs" violates the Constitution. But this legal standard does not assure the consistent provision of health care services. This leads the United States to fall behind European nations that define universal standards of care grounded in principles of human rights and the ideal of equivalence that incarcerated and non-incarcerated people are entitled to the same health care. In this paper, we review a diverse legal and policy literature and undertake a conceptual analysis of policy issues related to the standard of care in correctional health; we then describe a framework for moving incrementally closer toward a universal standard. The expansion of Medicaid funding and benefits to corrections facilities, alongside a system of comprehensive and enforceable external oversight, would meaningfully raise the standard of care. Although these changes on their own will not resolve all of the thorny health problems posed by mass incarceration, they present a tangible opportunity to move closer to the human rights ideal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prisoners , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services , Human Rights , Humans , Pandemics , United States
4.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(10)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34598977

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed during the Syrian civil war and millions more displaced along with an unconscionable amount of destroyed civilian infrastructure. METHODS: We aggregate attack data from Airwars, Physicians for Human Rights and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition/Insecurity Insight to provide a summary of attacks against civilian infrastructure during the years 2012-2018. Specifically, we explore relationships between date of attack, governorate, perpetrator and weapon for 2689 attacks against five civilian infrastructure classes: healthcare, private, public, school and unknown. Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) via squared cosine distance, k-means clustering of the MCA row coordinates, binomial lasso classification and Cramer's V coefficients are used to produce and investigate these correlations. RESULTS: Frequencies and proportions of attacks against the civilian infrastructure classes by year, governorate, perpetrator and weapon are presented. MCA results identify variation along the first two dimensions for the variables year, governorate, perpetrator and healthcare infrastructure in four topics of interest: (1) Syrian government attacks against healthcare infrastructure, (2) US-led Coalition offensives in Raqqa in 2017, (3) Russian violence in Aleppo in 2016 and (4) airstrikes on non-healthcare infrastructure. These topics of interest are supported by results of the k-means clustering, binomial lasso classification and Cramer's V coefficients. DISCUSSION: Findings suggest that violence against healthcare infrastructure correlates strongly with specific perpetrators. We hope that the results of this study provide researchers with valuable data and insights that can be used in future analyses to better understand the Syrian conflict.


Subject(s)
Human Rights , Violence , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Syria
5.
Confl Health ; 15(1): 37, 2021 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33962623

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Attacks on health care in armed conflict, including those on health workers, facilities, patients and transports, represent serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Information about these incidents and their characteristics are available in myriad forms: as published research or commentary, investigative reports, and within online data collection initiatives. We review the research on attacks on health to understand what data they rely on, what subjects they cover and what gaps exist in order to develop a research agenda going forward. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This study utilizes a systematic review of peer-reviewed to identify and understand relevant data about attacks on health in situations of conflict. We identified 1479 papers published before January 1, 2020 using systematic and hand-searching and chose 45 articles for review that matched our inclusion criteria. We extracted data on geographical and conflict foci, methodology, objectives and major themes. Among the included articles, 26 focused on assessment of evidence of attacks, 15 on analyzing their impacts, three on the legal and human rights principles and one on the methods of documentation. We analyzed article data to answer questions about where and when attacks occur and are investigated, what types of attacks occur, who is perpetrating them, and how and why they are studied. We synthesized cross-cutting themes on the impacts of these attacks, mitigation efforts, and gaps in existing data. CONCLUSION: Recognizing limitations in the review, we find there have been comparatively few studies over the past four decades but the literature is growing. To deepen the discussions of the scope of attacks and to enable cross-context comparisons, documentation of attacks on health must be enhanced to make the data more consistent, more thorough, more accessible, include diverse perspectives, and clarify taxonomy. As the research on attacks on health expands, practical questions on how the data is utilized for advocacy, protection and accountability must be prioritized.

6.
Lancet ; 394(10213): 1987-1988, 2019 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31789211
7.
BMJ Open ; 8(8): e021096, 2018 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30082351

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore the impact of the conflict, including the use of chemical weapons, in Syria on healthcare through the experiences of health providers using a public health and human rights lens. DESIGN: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews conducted in-person or over Skype using a thematic analysis approach. SETTING: Interviews were conducted with Syrian health workers operating in opposition-held Syria in cooperation with a medical relief organisation in Gaziantep, Turkey. PARTICIPANTS: We examined data from 29 semi-structured in-depth interviews with a sample of health professionals with current or recent work-related experience in opposition-controlled areas of Syria, including respondents to chemical attacks. RESULTS: Findings highlight the health worker experience of attacks on health infrastructure and services in Syria and consequences in terms of access and scarcity in availability of essential medicines and equipment. Quality of services is explored through physicians' accounts of the knock-on effect of shortages of equipment, supplies and personnel on the right to health and its ethical implications. Health workers themselves were found to be operating under extreme conditions, in particular responding to the most recent chemical attacks that occurred in 2017, with implications for their own health and mental well-being. CONCLUSIONS: The study provides unique insight into the impact war has had on Syrian's right to health through the accounts of a sample of Syrian health professionals, with continuing relevance to the current conflict and professional issues facing health workers in conflict settings.


Subject(s)
Armed Conflicts , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Health Services Accessibility , Chemical Warfare , Equipment and Supplies/supply & distribution , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Pharmaceutical Preparations/supply & distribution , Syria
8.
PLoS Med ; 15(4): e1002559, 2018 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29689085

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Violent attacks on and interferences with hospitals, ambulances, health workers, and patients during conflict destroy vital health services during a time when they are most needed and undermine the long-term capacity of the health system. In Syria, such attacks have been frequent and intense and represent grave violations of the Geneva Conventions, but the number reported has varied considerably. A systematic mechanism to document these attacks could assist in designing more protection strategies and play a critical role in influencing policy, promoting justice, and addressing the health needs of the population. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We developed a mobile data collection questionnaire to collect data on incidents of attacks on healthcare directly from the field. Data collectors from the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), using the tool or a text messaging system, recorded information on incidents across four of Syria's northern governorates (Aleppo, Idleb, Hama, and Homs) from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. SAMS recorded a total of 200 attacks on healthcare in 2016, 102 of them using the mobile data collection tool. Direct attacks on health facilities comprised the majority of attacks recorded (88.0%; n = 176). One hundred and twelve healthcare staff and 185 patients were killed in these incidents. Thirty-five percent of the facilities were attacked more than once over the data collection period; hospitals were significantly more likely to be attacked more than once compared to clinics and other types of healthcare facilities. Aerial bombs were used in the overwhelming majority of cases (91.5%). We also compared the SAMS data to a separate database developed by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) based on media reports and matched the incidents to compare the results from the two methods (this analysis was limited to incidents at health facilities). Among 90 relevant incidents verified by PHR and 177 by SAMS, there were 60 that could be matched to each other, highlighting the differences in results from the two methods. This study is limited by the complexities of data collection in a conflict setting, only partial use of the standardized reporting tool, and the fact that limited accessibility of some health facilities and workers and may be biased towards the reporting of attacks on larger or more visible health facilities. CONCLUSIONS: The use of field data collectors and use of consistent definitions can play an important role in the tracking incidents of attacks on health services. A mobile systematic data collection tool can complement other methods for tracking incidents of attacks on healthcare and ensure the collection of detailed information about each attack that may assist in better advocacy, programs, and accountability but can be practically challenging. Comparing attacks between SAMS and PHR suggests that there may have been significantly more attacks than previously captured by any one methodology. This scale of attacks suggests that targeting of healthcare in Syria is systematic and highlights the failure of condemnation by the international community and medical groups working in Syria of such attacks to stop them.


Subject(s)
Armed Conflicts/statistics & numerical data , Crime Victims/statistics & numerical data , Exposure to Violence/statistics & numerical data , Health Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Health Workforce/statistics & numerical data , Armed Conflicts/psychology , Bombs/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Epidemiological Monitoring , Exposure to Violence/psychology , Government , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Health Resources/supply & distribution , Humans , Incidence , Mass Casualty Incidents/mortality , Mass Casualty Incidents/statistics & numerical data , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Syria/epidemiology
11.
Lancet ; 388(10050): 1202-14, 2016 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27427457

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, a disproportionate burden of HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis is present among current and former prisoners. This problem results from laws, policies, and policing practices that unjustly and discriminatorily detain individuals and fail to ensure continuity of prevention, care, and treatment upon detention, throughout imprisonment, and upon release. These government actions, and the failure to ensure humane prison conditions, constitute violations of human rights to be free of discrimination and cruel and inhuman treatment, to due process of law, and to health. Although interventions to prevent and treat HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and drug dependence have proven successful in prisons and are required by international law, they commonly are not available. Prison health services are often not governed by ministries responsible for national public health programmes, and prison officials are often unwilling to implement effective prevention measures such as needle exchange, condom distribution, and opioid substitution therapy in custodial settings, often based on mistaken ideas about their incompatibility with prison security. In nearly all countries, prisoners face stigma and social marginalisation upon release and frequently are unable to access health and social support services. Reforms in criminal law, policing practices, and justice systems to reduce imprisonment, reforms in the organisation and management of prisons and their health services, and greater investment of resources are needed.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , HIV Infections/prevention & control , HIV Infections/transmission , Health Services Accessibility , Human Rights Abuses/legislation & jurisprudence , Human Rights/legislation & jurisprudence , Human Rights/standards , Prisoners , Prisons/legislation & jurisprudence , Public Health/standards , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Condoms/supply & distribution , Continuity of Patient Care/standards , Criminal Law/standards , Criminal Law/trends , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Hepatitis/prevention & control , Human Rights Abuses/prevention & control , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Prisoners/legislation & jurisprudence , Prisons/organization & administration , Prisons/standards , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Social Stigma , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Tuberculosis/prevention & control
13.
Confl Health ; 9: 34, 2015.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26535056

ABSTRACT

The war in Syria, now in its fourth year, is one of the bloodiest in recent times. The legacy of war includes damage to the health of children that can last for decades and affect future generations. In this article we discuss the effects of the war on Syria's children, highlighting the less documented longer-term effects. In addition to their present suffering, these children, and their own children, are likely to face further challenges as a result of the current conflict. This is essential to understand both for effective interventions and for ethical reasons.

16.
Confl Health ; 8(1): 23, 2014.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25400693

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Attacks on health care in armed conflict and other civil disturbances, including those on health workers, health facilities, patients and health transports, represent a critical yet often overlooked violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Reporting has been limited yet local health workers working on the frontline in conflict are often the victims of chronic abuse and interferences with their care-giving. This paper reports on the validation and revision of an instrument designed to capture incidents via a qualitative and quantitative evaluation method. METHODS: Based on previous research and interviews with experts, investigators developed a 33-question instrument to report on attacks on healthcare. These items would provide information about who, what, where, when, and the impact of each incident of attack on or interference with health. The questions are grouped into 4 domains: health facilities, health workers, patients, and health transports. 38 health workers who work in eastern Burma participated in detailed discussion groups in August 2013 to review the face and content validity of the instrument and then tested the instrument based on two simulated scenarios. Completed forms were graded to test the inter-rater reliability of the instrument. RESULTS: Face and content validity were confirmed with participants expressing that the instrument would assist in better reporting of attacks on health in the setting of eastern Burma where they work. Participants were able to give an accurate account of relevant incidents (86% and 82% on Scenarios 1 and 2 respectively). Item-by-item review of the instrument revealed that greater than 95% of participants completed the correct sections. Errors primarily occurred in quantifying the impact of the incident on patient care. Revisions to the translated instrument based on the results consisted primarily of design improvements and simplification of some numerical fields. CONCLUSION: This instrument was validated for use in eastern Burma and could be used as a model for reporting violence towards health care in other conflict settings.

17.
Confl Health ; 8: 10, 2014.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25076981

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Gender-based violence (GBV) is prevalent among, though not specific to, conflict affected populations and related to multifarious levels of vulnerability of conflict and displacement. Colombia has been marked with decades of conflict, with an estimated 5.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and ongoing violence. We conducted qualitative research to understand the contexts of conflict, displacement and dynamics with GBV. This as part of a multi-phase, mixed method study, in collaboration with UNHCR, to develop a screening tool to confidentially identify cases of GBV for referral among IDP women who were survivors of GBV. METHODS: Qualitative research was used to identify the range of GBV, perpetrators, contexts in conflict and displacement, barriers to reporting and service uptake, as well as to understand experiences of service providers. Thirty-five female IDPs, aged 18 years and older, who self-identified as survivors of GBV were enrolled for in-depth interviews in San Jose de Guaviare and Quibdo, Colombia in June 2012. Thirty-one service providers participated in six focus group discussions and four interviews across these sites. RESULTS: Survivors described a range of GBV across conflict and displacement settings. Armed actors in conflict settings perpetrated threats of violence and harm to family members, child recruitment, and, to a lesser degree, rape and forced abortion. Opportunistic violence, including abduction, rape, and few accounts of trafficking were more commonly reported to occur in the displacement setting, often perpetrated by unknown individuals. Intrafamilial violence, intimate partner violence, including physical and sexual violence and reproductive control were salient across settings and may be exacerbated by conflict and displacement. Barriers to reporting and services seeking were reported by survivors and providers alike. CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the need for early identification of GBV cases, with emphasis on confidential approaches and active engagement of survivors in available, quality services. Such efforts may facilitate achievement of the goals of new Colombian laws, which seek to prevent and respond to GBV, including in conflict settings. Ongoing conflict and generalized GBV in displacement, as well as among the wider population, suggests a need to create sustainable solutions that are accessible to both IDPs and general populations.

18.
PLoS One ; 8(12): e85342, 2013.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24400039

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Air from animal feeding operations (AFOs) has been shown to transport numerous contaminants of public health concern. While federal statutes like the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) generally require that facilities report hazardous releases, AFOs have been exempted from most of these requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We assessed the availability of information about AFO airborne hazardous releases following these exemptions. METHODS: We submitted public records requests to 7 states overlapping with or adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay watershed for reports of hazardous releases made by AFOs under EPCRA. From the records received, we calculated the proportion of AFOs in each state for which ≥1 reports were available. We also determined the availability of specific types of information required under EPCRA. The numbers of AFOs permitted under the Clean Water Act (CWA) or analogous state laws, as determined from permitting databases obtained from states, were used as denominators. RESULTS: We received both EPCRA reports and permitting databases from 4 of 7 states. Across these 4 states, the mean proportion of AFOs for which ≥1 EPCRA reports were available was 15% (range: 2-33%). The mean proportions of AFOs for which the name or identity of the substance released, ≥1 estimates of quantity released, and information about nearby population density and sensitive populations were available were 15% (range: 2-33%), 8% (range: 0-22%), and 14% (range: 2-8%), respectively. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that information about the airborne hazardous releases of a large majority of AFOs is not available under federal law in the states that we investigated. While the results cannot be attributed to specific factors by this method, attention to multiple factors, including revision of the EPA's exemptions, may increase the availability of information relevant to the health of populations living or working near AFOs.


Subject(s)
Animal Husbandry/standards , Chemical Hazard Release/statistics & numerical data , Feeding Methods/standards , Animal Husbandry/methods , Animals , Chemical Hazard Release/legislation & jurisprudence , Licensure/legislation & jurisprudence , Licensure/statistics & numerical data , Mid-Atlantic Region
19.
Confl Health ; 7(1): 13, 2013 Jun 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23758886

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: High levels of gender-based violence (GBV) persist among conflict-affected populations and within humanitarian settings and are paralleled by under-reporting and low service utilization. Novel and evidence-based approaches are necessary to change the current state of GBV amongst these populations. We present the findings of qualitative research, which were used to inform the development of a screening tool as one potential strategy to identify and respond to GBV for females in humanitarian settings. METHODS: Qualitative research methods were conducted from January-February 2011 to explore the range of experiences of GBV and barriers to reporting GBV among female refugees. Individual interview participants (n=37) included female refugees (≥15 years), who were survivors of GBV, living in urban or one of three camps settings in Ethiopia, and originating from six conflict countries. Focus group discussion participants (11 groups; 77 participants) included health, protection and community service staff working in the urban or camp settings. Interviews and discussions were conducted in the language of preference, with assistance by interpreters when needed, and transcribed for analysis by grounded-theory technique. RESULTS: Single and multiple counts of GBV were reported and ranged from psychological and social violence; rape, gang rape, sexual coercion, and other sexual violence; abduction; and physical violence. Domestic violence was predominantly reported to occur when participants were living in the host country. Opportunistic violence, often manifested by rape, occurred during transit when women depended on others to reach their destination. Abduction within the host country, and often across borders, highlighted the constant state of vulnerability of refugees. Barriers to reporting included perceived and experienced stigma in health settings and in the wider community, lack of awareness of services, and inability to protect children while mothers sought services. CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate that GBV persists across the span of the refugee experience, though there is a transition in the range of perpetrators and types of GBV that are experienced. Further, survivors experience significant individual and system barriers to disclosure and service utilization. The findings suggest that routine GBV screening by skilled service providers offers a strategy to confidentially identify and refer survivors to needed services within refugee settings, potentially enabling survivors to overcome existing barriers.

20.
Med Confl Surviv ; 28(4): 289-316, 2012.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23421305

ABSTRACT

Health systems face enormous challenges in fragile and post-conflict states. This paper will review recent literature to better understand how, within a context of economic volatility, political instability, infrastructural collapse and human resource scarcity, population health deteriorates and requires significant attention and resources to rebuild. Classifications of fragile and post-conflict states differ among organizations and reviewing the basic consensus as well as differences will assist in clarifying how organizations use these terms and how statistics on these nations come about. Of particular interest is the increase in local conflicts within states that may not affect national mortality and morbidity but pose heavy burdens on regional populations. Recent research on sexual and reproductive health, children's health and mental health within fragile and post-conflict states highlights the effects of healthcare systems and their breakdown on communities. We propose a research agenda to further explore knowledge gaps concerning health in fragile and post-conflict states.


Subject(s)
Health Care Reform/organization & administration , Health Care Reform/trends , Health Policy/trends , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Quality Assurance, Health Care/organization & administration , Warfare , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Forecasting , Humans , Politics , Relief Work
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