How does the return home from displacement camps affect child health? Evidence from Uganda

The first year of the post-conflict period is a very fluid and little understood period of human development, and very little is known about the determinants of health outcomes in the period immediately after a cease-fire is agreed. Millions of families are affected by conflict related displacement around the world, and it is in the immediate post-conflict period that they consider returning to their place of origin.

A new paper published by MICROCON and written by Carlos Bozzoli and Tilman Brück, studies the effects of war and displacement on the health of children, using data collected as part of a large household survey from post-war northern Uganda in 2007.

It finds that children in displacement camps and those in returnee locations exhibit the same average sickness rates. Poor access to safe drinking water in return locations counteracts the positive health effects of camp decongestion for returnee populations, whilst the results suggest that overcrowding and inferior cooking fuels explain the high sickness rates in camps.

It is therefore important to provide better sanitation and drinking water access in return locations to improve the health status of conflict-affected children; and to provide better cooking technologies and more shelter in displacement camps. The results also highlight the need for better data and analysis in early post-war periods which can help to balance public health interventions, thereby strengthening the peace process.

You can download the paper here: http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/RWP24_CB_TB.pdf .

Views: 18

Tags: Uganda, conflict, displacement, health, violent

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Comment by John Spall on May 6, 2010 at 4:24pm
Glad to hear it, thanks Opollo.
Comment by Opollo Leonard on May 5, 2010 at 8:05pm
Nice piece. I can relate it to what happened to our nation,Kenya which still has hundreds of post 2007 election violence. I intend to write a paper on it and am greatful for the insight you've provided.
Comment by John Spall on May 5, 2010 at 7:38pm
That's great to hear. Thanks for the feedback Sherill.
Comment by Sherrill Hayes on May 5, 2010 at 7:04pm
This is fascinating work. I'm going to use it straight away in a graduate course I'm teaching this summer on "Violence in Families", which covers a range of topics from IPV violence in North America to the impact of structural and macro conflicts on children and families. Thanks for sharing this up to date information.

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