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Life inside the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan is incredibly difficult due to various determinants of health that impact their lives. The refugee camp is home to over 80,000 Syrian refugees, mostly women and children. It was established in 2012 as a temporary solution to a complex situation, yet many of its occupiers remain in the camp for long periods of time.

Physical Environment

The physical environment in the camp is an extreme determining factor in the health of refugees. The camp is overcrowded, equipped with only basic amenities, and has limited access to clean water, electricity, and sanitation. Temperatures are extreme and refugees suffer from dehydration, malnutrition, and other illnesses.

Social Factors

Social factors also play a significant role in the health of Zaatari’s inhabitants. With limited employment opportunities and language barriers, refugees find it difficult to secure and manage a stable income. This often causes poverty and leads to a lack of education opportunities, and difficulty accessing medical care when needed. Furthermore, gender discrimination and lack of legal protection leave many refugees vulnerable to mistreatment, while unaccompanied minors and domestic violence victims are at even greater risk.

Mental Health

Mental health is another important determinant of health for Zaatari’s inhabitants. Refugees often suffer from post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety due to their exposure to war, violence, and displacement. Additionally, lack of social and family connections, economic hardships, and living conditions in the camp all take a toll on their mental health.

Key Takeaways

    • Physical Environment: The physical environment in the camp is overcrowded, equipped with basic amenities, and has limited access to clean water, electricity, and sanitation.
    • Social Factors: Limited employment opportunities and language barriers create poverty and leave refugees vulnerable to mistreatment and gender discrimination.
    • Mental Health: Refugees often suffer from post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety due to their exposure to war, violence, and displacement.

Despite the many challenges, many of Zaatari’s inhabitants are determined to make the best of their situation, and are reclaiming their quality of life within the camp. By understanding the determinants of health, healthcare providers and international organizations can better assist refugees as they hope for a more secure future, free from violence and conflict.

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