Dear fellow caregivers,
You are receiving a patient from Syria.
Here is a list of useful information to know in the context of their medical care.
Distance Paris – – – > – – Damascus : 2037 miles
19 million inhabitants / Average salary: $218 per month
Literacy rate: 85% / Life expectancy: 70 years
Spoken language : Arabic
● Low immunization rates, disruption of water and sanitation systems, and malnutrition increase mortality rates.
● Massive population displacements have led to a major reduction in qualified medical personnel in Syria.
● The country is in the midst of a civil war. As a result, Syrian patients may have physical or mental disorders due to the conflict. They may also be reluctant to talk about it.
● Many Syrian men greet women by placing a hand on their chest and by saying hello.
● Family is very important in Syrian life. Reputation, honor, and family status define its members. The privacy of the family, especially the female members, is very protected.
● Syrians generally communicate indirectly to avoid embarrassment.
● Their constant desire for politeness and good manners means that Syrians will tend to say they agree, even if this is not the case.
● They will tend to stand and sit close to their interlocutors. They have no difficulty in touching others like themselves.
● Syrians expect to make eye contact during conversation.
Beliefs, Practices & Rituals
● Syria is predominantly populated by Muslims (88%) and Christians.
● Some Syrian Muslims pray five times a day in private. But this remains flexible, they can postpone their prayers if necessary.
● In Syria, lunch usually takes place in the early afternoon, around 2 or 3 pm. It is the largest meal of the day. Dinner, on the other hand, is leaner and is taken relatively late.
● Eating disorders due to psychological distress are not uncommon.
● Sharing meals with family and friends is a very important social activity for Syrians.
● Syrian cuisine is mainly composed of a wide variety of seeds, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are often purchased and consumed in large quantities.
Pregnancy and motherhood
● Syrians are very affectionate and protective of children.
● In Syria, women give birth by caesarean section. Because of the bombardments, they sometimes do not have time to give birth naturally.
● Syrian women usually leave the hospital quickly after giving birth, and the family takes care of them. This is especially due to the high costs of hospitalization.
● If the patient is a refugee, he or she most likely has no family or relatives in or near the country. It may therefore be useful to offer psychological support.
● It is also possible that some patients may not want to follow the full course of treatment and will want to leave beforehand.
Cleveland Clinic – Diversity Toolkit
State of Queensland (Metro South Health) – Syrian food and cultural profile: dietetic consultation guide
Equal Times – Syrie : être mère en temps de guerre
Cultural Atlas – Syrian Culture
Excision Parlons-En – Cartographie Mondiale des Pratiques d’Excision
UNICEF – Mutilations Génitales Féminines / Excision