Syrian Children’s Injuries and Nursing Care


Increasing good global health outcomes requires stakeholders to eliminate all circumstances that expose the global population to health risks. In 2000, although the UN member states ratified the millennium development goals (MDGs) for ensuring that such risks are reduced, some emerging new challenges were not considered. The summit established eight goals. The goals included the eradication of hunger and poverty, the attainment of universal primary education, women empowerment, and the promotion of gender equality among others (The United Nations, 2014). During the authorization of the MDGs, the UN possibly never oversaw new dangers to global population health, for instance, injuries and violence that arise from the escalating hostilities between nations and people within nations. This situation has dominated countries such as Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and other several Arab world nations. This paper focuses on injuries and violence acerbated on children in Syria. Although this focus does not fit in well with the MDGs, it is aligned with the concerns of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Background to the Problem

War exposes children to violence and injuries, which threaten their health. This challenge opposes the fourth goal of the 2030 SDGs plan. The goal targets “Building and upgrading education facilities that are child, disability, and gender sensitive…providing safe, non-violent, inclusive, and effective learning environment for all” (The World Health Organization, 2015, p.13). Before the war broke, Syria was a middle-income nation that provided a decent living to its people. The nation had literacy levels of more than 90% (UNICEF, 2015). However, during a crisis, children are exposed to violence coupled with indiscriminate attacks that lead to physical, mental, sociological, and even psychological injuries.

In extreme cases, UNICEF (2015) reveals that children are recruited in armies or vigilante groups, which expose them to other injurious experiences such as sexual exploitation. Snipers focus on children with various incidences of bomb attacks that target schools. For example, in 2015, more than 100 children died due to such attacks while millions of others have been displaced. The fate of displaced children is worse since they are forced to engage in poorly paid and dangerous labor to secure their livelihood, including catering for their families. In Jordan, a teenage Syrian child complained about, “a big explosion at the market (diesel market where he worked) where he saw a man fly through the air and there was so much blood” (UNICEF, 2015, p.8). The boy worked without any protective clothing.

Analysis and Synthesis

Human Diversity, Cultural Differences, and Culturally Responsive Practices

Issues such as the plight of children in Syria and refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan among others advocate for response practices that factor in the concept of human diversity and cultural differences. Whether in Syria, Jordan, or Lebanon, government systems, care providers must guarantee the delivery of care for injured or displaced children while taking into account the victims’ cultural context. For example, child labor is illegal in Lebanon and Jordan. Therefore, the administration structures in these nations should ensure that people do not take advantage of refugee children by engaging them in unethical activities such as cheap labor. Such practices are not consistent with work environment safety and protection guidelines in these nations.

The best Culturally Responsive Strategies to show Respect for the Particular Population

The Pre-crisis Syria adopted strategies that demonstrated the nation as one that took care of its children. For instance, it encouraged high enrolment in education, provided healthcare services, and/or ensured that children’s rights were not violated. This plan indicated that Syria had already achieved some of its MDGs. Therefore, the Syrian culture is developed around the need for providing collective care for all children. Consequently, the best culturally responsive strategies that demonstrate reverence to this particular population require stakeholders to emulate the pre-crisis Syria model for addressing children’s needs, especially in Syria and nations where Syrian children have sought refuge. This plan would ensure that children are not exposed to hazards such as working under poor conditions. The strategy is also effective in ensuring that children in Syria are not caught up in armed conflicts that can lead to violence and injuries in case terror groups comply with the Syrian culture that does not advocate for war against women and children. Such a concern can promote safety for nursing practitioners who provide relief and healthcare services to war victims such as the Syrian children.

Synthesis of Caring and Transcultural Nursing Theories

In a conflict-dominated setting, O’Connor (2015) reveals how caregivers lack safety due to deliberate attacks that target health professionals. Hence, the best transcultural care in the global platform should focus on the safety of nursing practitioners in war zones, especially when they attempt to deliver care to victims of violence and injuries. Recognizing cultural and social factors that influence care delivery in the 21st-century conflicts is important to transcultural nurses since parties that acerbate violence and injuries that are witnessed in places such as Syria belong to dangerous subcultures (O’Connor, 2015). However, this claim does not suggest that war zones are the only settings in which nurses experience dangers when executing their work. According to AbuAlRub and Al-Asmar (2011), transcultural nurses experience occupational violence. Such violence includes physical assault, psychological violence, and sexual harassments (Alameddine, Mourad, & Dimassi, 2015; AbuAlRub & Al-Asmar, 2014).

In the case of the Syrian conflict, resisting forces do not observe any concern for human rights. Such a culture is inconsistent with the need to deliver quality care to all people. Even nonpartisans in the war, including nursing professionals, are targets of violence. Therefore, the only way to provide care to children who are victims of violence and injuries in Syria consistent with the best global transcultural nursing practices involves establishing mechanisms that safeguard children in refugee camps in foreign nations and/or any protected areas inside the Syrian soil.

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Impacts of My Culture

The discussion of this paper is not influenced by any cultural bias towards Syria and its crisis experiences, but by credible research arguments. Nevertheless, the subculture of the violent and inhuman terror groups differs from my culture, which values the right of children’s health, including being free from violence and injuries. Indeed, the paper does not alter my negative view towards terrorist groups or any other group that acerbate war on innocent children in any nation.

Barriers to Resolution and Global Partners who are helping to fix the Syrian Problem

The barrier to the resolution of the Syrian crisis that has led to violence and injuries on children is political and legal in nature. The international law has put a limit on the kind of weapons that the Syrian government can deploy to deal with brutal terrorist groups (Spiro & Berkeley, 2013). For example, the Syrian government has come under heavy criticism for using chemical weapons. Consequently, looming US interventions are evident in Syria when America is encouraging Syria to comply with the international law norm of prohibiting the utilization of chemical weapons in wars. Global powers such as the US have the capability to resolve the conflict. However, the political will has not yet been explicitly expressed. However, UNICEF, WHO, and the international human rights organizations are exerting pressure for the capable global world power to partner to end the crisis in Syria.

Summary and Conclusions

Conflicts create a poor environment for the effective delivery of health care. This situation is challenging for transcultural nurses who have the responsibility of delivering care to people from different cultures. I have an interest in this topic since conflicts that involve terrorist groups raise an alarm to transcultural nurses who may seek to break cultural gaps between their culture and the subcultures of the terror groups. My emphasis is that the subcultures of terror groups are dangerous to transcultural nurses who are driven by the desire to guarantee global health to children who are victims of war injuries and violence. The endeavor poses risks to the nurses’ lives. Hence, nurses’ role in this global concern is limited to the extent that care is delivered in a safe environment, including refugee camps and any other secure place in a war-torn nation.

Learning about this topic as a citizen of the world has changed me to the extent of appreciating the contribution of powerful global partners in easing crises in many nations to create a good living environment for all people. Where an intervention comes in late, all people, including children, suffer from violence that leads to physical, mental, social, and psychological injuries. Although the topic does not influence my particular work setting in any way, there is a need for advocating the protection of children from violence and injuries in armed conflicts. Where such protection is breached, heavy penalties should be imposed on the offenders.

Reference List

AbuAlRub, F., & Al-Asmar, H. (2011). Physical violence in the workplace among Jordanian hospital nurses. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 22(2), 157–165.

AbuAlRub, F., & Al-Asmar, H. (2014). Psychological violence in the workplace among Jordanian hospital nurses. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 25(1), 60-14.

Alameddine, M., Mourad, Y., & Dimassi, H. (2015). A national study on nurses’ exposure to occupational violence in Lebanon: Prevalence, consequences and associated factors. PLoS, 10(9), 1-12.

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O’Connor, K. (2015). Nursing ethics and the 21st century armed conflict: The example of Ciudad Juarez. Journal of Trans-Cultural Nursing, 1(1), 1-9.

Spiro, P., & Berkeley, J. (2013). Sovereigntism’s twilight. Journal of International Law, 31(1), 307-322.

UNICEF. (2015). Small hands heavy burden: How the Syria conflict is driving more children into the workforce. Web.

The United Nations. (2014). The millennium development goals report. New York, NY: The UN Headquarters.

The World Health Organization. (2015). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and violence prevention: How do they connect. Geneva: The WHO.

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