The impact of conflict on health outcomes: a systematic evidence from sub-saharan Africa
One of the greatest risks and challenges faced by the health of populations and systems in developing countries is conflicts. Sub-Saharan African countries have experienced various forms of violent conflicts which prompted this study to evaluate the health consequences of these conflicts. Online systematic search was conducted for relevant literature and this made it possible for studies that were peer-reviewed, research article, report, working paper, discussion paper and a briefing paper to be included in the study. The inclusion criteria were met by 12 studies, one each from Angola, Côte D’Ivoire, Eretria-Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Uganda. Two studies were conducted in Nigeria and three in South Sudan. Three studies reported a negative effect of conflict on health facilities; two reported a negative effect on health workers while nine studies mentioned that conflict has a negative effect on child nutritional status. One and two other studies reported negative effects of conflict on maternal healthcare utilisation and mental health respectively. In general, conflict has negative effects on health outcomes. Among the studies selected for this review, children were mostly reported to have been affected by conflict. Most of them in conflict zones were found to have been undernourished due to conflict. The findings of this review have demonstrated that conflict has a negative effect on the health of the population.
Keywords: children, conflict, health, malnutrition, Sub-Saharan Africa