UNHCR survey: 67% of Syrian refugees in Jordan access health services

Zaatari UNHCR tent
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 67 percent of Syrian families outside camps can access health services supported by the UNHCR, and 65 percent can access facilities affiliated with the Ministry of Health. This is a 2 percent increase from a previous survey in 2021.اضافة اعلان

The UNHCR revealed that 80 percent of Syrian families live in Amman, Irbid, and Mafraq, with the highest concentration in Amman. On average, a Syrian family comprises 5.8 members with a monthly income of JD232. Since 2012, the Jordanian government has implemented various healthcare access policies for refugees, including free access, support, and prevention, Al-Ghad reported.

Also applies to uninsured Jordanians
In 2019, the government allowed Syrians registered with the UNHCR to access health services at the Jordanian uninsured price if they used services provided by the Ministry of Health. This price is subsidized and also applies to uninsured Jordanians. According to the UNHCR, 97 percent of Syrian families possess a security card from the Ministry of Interior, and 91 percent of the cards were issued in the same governorate where the families reside.

Regarding healthcare utilization, 39 percent of Syrians visited private clinics or hospitals, 33 percent went to government facilities, and 23 percent went to private pharmacies. However, access to pharmacies decreased by 10%, access to private hospitals or clinics increased by 4 percent, and access to government hospitals increased by 9 percent compared to the 2021 survey. In 2023, 92 percent of Syrians obtained necessary health care from the first facility they visited, spending an average of JD27.

The UNHCR also noted a 43 percent increase in health care costs, making 61 percent of Syrians unable to afford necessary medications and 54 percent unable to afford health care. Despite this, 97 percent of Syrians were satisfied with the services provided by the first healthcare facility they visited.

Regarding vaccination, 87 percent of Syrians knew about free vaccination services at Ministry of Health facilities, compared to 96 percent in 2021. Syrian children aged 0 to 5 years had a vaccination rate of 96 percent against measles, mumps, German measles, and polio.

Prenatal care utilization increased by 6 percent from the 2021 survey, with 90 percent of mothers aged 17 to 49 receiving prenatal care. However, 21 percent of mothers faced difficulties in accessing prenatal care, mainly due to the inability to afford service fees.

The prevalence of chronic diseases among Syrian families decreased to 16 percent in 2023, with high blood pressure being the most common condition at 39 percent, followed by diabetes at 29 percent. Despite this, 75 percent of household members were able to obtain health care for their chronic condition, spending an average of 41.8 dinars monthly.

Regarding COVID-19 vaccination, 82 percent of household members over 18 received vaccines, with 6 percent receiving one dose, 87 percent receiving two doses, and seven percent receiving a third booster dose.

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