September 26, 2016 – Conflict Toll


Anchor lead: What are the chronic health effects of conflict? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you live in an area where there’s conflict, chances are good you’ll have a shortened lifespan, a recent study published in the Lancet found. Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the impact of conflict is multidimensional.

Klag: The long term impact can come from disruption of where people live.  They can become refugees that live in camps, or you can get destruction of the healthcare system so that you can’t provide care even if people don’t move.  Obviously there are huge mental health impacts and this paper documents it, of being exposed to conflict. And most importantly, the crises, the conflicts, have resulted in a reduction in life expectancy.  In Syria, there’s a five year loss in life expectancy for women and six years for men.   :30

Klag says such data must provide impetus for countries around the world to provide robust assistance to conflict-ridden areas.  He calls the current situation in Syria the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.