Ecology of a Refugee Camp

Refugee health has historically been studied using siloed academic structures and frameworks, focusing largely on individual (mostly communicable) diseases, while ignoring broader issues of disease dynamics, the changing and degrading environment, politics, demographics and other infrastructural aspects of a camp. The reality, however, is far more complex where environmental factors, human interactions, access to services, disease dynamics and temporal growth of the camp influence health outcomes in myriad and complex ways. This research project aims to go beyond a siloed academic approach and envisions the refugee camp (or an urban informal settlement) as a multi-component dynamic and complex ecosystem that alters, and is altered by, spatial and temporal human, political and environmental factors. This project brings together researchers and scholars from engineering, basic sciences, epidemiology, public health, history and ecology to develop a richer framework for understanding health and health outcomes in refugee camps and urban informal settlements, with the ultimate goal of developing ethical approaches to provide quality health services to those who are forced to displace. 

News and Publications: 

  • Forthcoming book: Muhammad H. Zaman, Tahera Hasan and Janki Bhatt. Invisible people, visible barriers: Healthcare access for and among Ethnic Bengalis in Pakistan. Statelessness and Citizenship Review. In Press.
  • Peer-review article: Wael Bazzi, Antoine G Abou Fayad, Aya Nasser, Louis-Patrick Haraoui, Omar Dewachi, Ghassan Abou-Sitta, Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Aula Abara, Nabil Karah, Hannah Landecker, Charles Knapp, Megan M McEvoy, Muhammad H Zaman, Paul G Higgins, Ghassan M Matar. Heavy Metal Toxicity in Armed Conflicts Potentiates AMR in baumannii by Selecting for Antibiotic and Heavy Metal Co-resistance Mechanisms. Frontiers in Microbiology. 03 Feb 2020.