Reconstructing Lives: Victims of war in the Middle East and Médecins Sans Frontières
Vanja Kovačič is a Medical Anthropologist. After having worked for several years as a researcher at the Crash, she is now working for the Manson Unit in MSF UK.
Reconstructing Lives: Victims of war in the Middle East and Médecins Sans Frontières was published in January 2022 by Manchester University Press. The book is the result of extensive fieldwork, in collaboration with the Crash. Here is a presentation of her work, as well as a short introductory video. The book in English is fully available at the bottom of this page. You can download the Arabic version of the book from the right side menu (in PDF).
This book attempts to establish a more holistic approach to the rehabilitation of war-injured civilians, one that adjusts to the patients' long-term needs. Vanja Kovačič not only offers an insight into the daily realities of patients during and after rehabilitation, but seeks to develop a new way to perceive, respect and involve them in health care.
Based on comprehensive interviews with patients and MSF staff, as well as extenIt isded field observations, Reconstructing lives follows Syrian and Iraqi war-injured civilians in their journey to recovery. From their improvised medical treatment in their home countries, to the MSF-run hospital in Amman Jordan, to their return home, Vanja Kovačič explores how individuals attempt to pick up the pieces of their previous lives, add new elements from their treatment and travel experiences, and finally establish a new reconstructed reality.
The book explores how the interaction between MSF staff and their patients contributes to the immense task of healing that awaits victims of war. The reader visits the intimate medical and domestic spaces that usually remain closed to the outside observer, spaces rich with human contact, perceptions, emotions, conflicts and reconciliations.
The book in English is available in open access below.
To cite this content :
Vanja Kovacic, Reconstructing Lives: Victims of war in the Middle East and Médecins Sans Frontières, 1 avril 2022, URL : https://msf-crash.org/en/medicine-and-public-health/reconstructing-lives-victims-war-middle-east-and-medecins-sans
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Our survey bears something of a resemblance to a study carried out by Vanja Kovacic in Homa Bay, Kenya, in which she investigated patients’ disease coping mechanisms and their “dependence on medical institutions”.
The study The Patient Perspective of Quality of Care: A Review of the Literature, which we present here was carried out by Hannah Barnett a public health student at George Washington University, intern with CRASH from June to August 2018. This work sums up seventy articles from a variety of disciplines including medicine and public health. It is part of a reflection initiated by MSF a few years ago on medical quality and the patient-centered approach.