War and other forms of armed conflict have profound adverse effects on population health. It is important to document these effects to inform the general public and policy makers about the consequences of armed conflict, provide services to meet the needs of affected populations, protect human rights and document violations of international humanitarian law, and help to prevent future armed conflict. Documentation can be accomplished with surveillance, epidemiological surveys, and rapid assessment. Challenges include inadequate or absent data systems, social breakdown, forced migration, reporting biases, and the fog of war. The adverse effects of the Iraq War on population health demonstrate how the effects of armed conflict on population health can be documented. We recommend the establishment of an independent mechanism, operated by the United Nations or a multilateral organization, to investigate and document the effects of armed conflict on population health.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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