12 Dec 2023
The department of public health at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), in collaboration with Heidelberg Institute of Global Health

The department of public health at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), in collaboration with Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) conducted the "JUST Winter School for Migration Health: A lens on the Middle East" between December 3rd and December 7th.

The winter school was directed by Professor Khalid Kheirallah with support from Dr. Rasheed Ibdah and Dr. Ahmad Alrawashdeh and included field visits to refugee camps and workshops related to refugees and migrants health in Jordan. UN agencies, namely UNHCR, UNRWA, WHO, and UNFPA participated in the school activities and presented their line of work for refugees in Jordan.

The winter school was supported by a DAAD  grant for JUST-HIGH and came as a reflection of the relationships between JUST and global institutions like DAAD and HIGH.

Mr. Benjamin Schmäling, Director of the DAAD Office in Jordan, participated in the opening ceremony conducted on Sunday and welcomed participants to Jordan. Dr. Rasheed Ibdah, Vice Dean of Graduate Studies, pointed to the closed collaboration between JUST and global higher academic institutions like HIGH.

Professor Kheirallah presented the Jordan's experience with refugees and migrants and identified the challenges related to providing healthcare services. He also highlighted the waves of refugees Jordan had throughout its recent history and the statistics related to camp residents in Jordan.

Dr. Mohammad Fawad, UNHCR Public Health Officer, provided insight about registered Syrian refugees' healthcare utilization and access during the last 10 years and identified Jordan as a model for supporting the healthcare needs for refugees. He also outlined the role of the UNHCR in supporting Jordan Ministry of Health in their efforts to provide services to refugees.

Dr. Apostolos Veizis, Executive Director of INTERSOS HELLAS and international consultant in refugee health, expressed the political platform for the current conflicts in the Middle East and the impact it has on the globe. He also discussed the challenges refugees in Europe face since their arrival.

​Dr. Saverio Bellizzi, Emergency Team Lead World Health Organization-Jordan Country Office, presented his line of work on refugee healthcare system assessment and strengthening in Jordan and what has been achieved to create an adaptive healthcare system for all.

Dr. Mahmoud Megdadi, CRDF Global-Jordan Office, shared his experience in population health and mobility in the Middle East Region and how population mobility during refuge seeking could impact human health.

Dr. Ahmad Alrawashdeh, and Ms. Arwa Mahasneh, from JUST faculty of allied medical sciences, presented their line of research on refugee mental health Bibliometric analyses and identified global trends in published research on this subject.

Field visits were focused on visiting Ramtha municipality to shed the light on the needs of refugees that were met by the municipality and what initial arrangements were considered before camps were officially established. The winter school also visited the Gardens Camp  for Syrian refugees, in Ramtha city, the Huson Camp for Palestinian refugees and Irbid City Camp.

The winter school was preceded by a summer school at HIGH where public health students from JUST participated in similar activities related to refugees in Europe at HIGH.