A team of researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) has been awarded a competitive research grant from Elrha's Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises funding scheme in response to a rapid call for proposals to support COVID-19 responses in humanitarian settings.
The project is one of only 15 to be awarded out of 450 submitted applications, will track changing vulnerabilities and COVID-19 adherence among older Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This study will focus on Syrian refugees in Lebanon aged 50+, using multi-level analysis, with the aim to explore how adherence to COVID-19 prevention and control measures among this specific population group varies over time in response to emergent vulnerabilities. Through studying these trends, the team hopes to generate knowledge on the needs of a neglected group in humanitarian emergencies – in this case older adults – who are at high risk in the COVID-19 outbreak.
The study will be conducted in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), while the results will inform an improved humanitarian response to COVID-19 to be conducted by NRC, based on evidence and data. Additionally, evidence and knowledge sharing, including through infographics and social media 'bites', will facilitate a coordinated response to COVID-19 among other humanitarian actors and preparedness to address future crises.
The AUB team is led by Dr Sawsan Abdulrahim (PI), Dr Hala Ghattas and Dr Steve McCall. The project is being facilitated through the Center for Research at Population Health at FHS. AUB co-investigators include Dr Nisreen Salti, Dr Abla Sibai and Dr Monique Chaaya.
Funding for this research is made possible through Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme, which is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Wellcome, and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).