Anatomy of therapeutic itineraries: ethnographic insights on Syrian health professionals-led initiatives in Lebanon

Principal Investigator: Karl Blanchet (LSHTM)


Collaborators: Diane Duclos (LSHTM), Jennifer Palmer (LSHTM), Fouad M. Fouad (AUB)


Seed funding was granted by the Wellcome Trust to conduct a feasibility study exploring to what extent humanitarian agencies can build on initiatives led by refugee health professionals to pilot public health interventions for refugees (registered and unregistered) in Lebanon.

The research objectives include:

  • To identify the humanitarian initiatives led by Syrian displaced health professionals to meet refugee’s health needs in Lebanon
  • To understand how refugees make decisions about their health providers and determine whether identified humanitarian initiatives could benefit from international support to implement public health interventions.


We are conducting an ethnographic study in the Bekaa Valley which is the home of the vast majority of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We will explore encounters between displaced patients and displaced health professionals, and account for complex therapeutic itineraries at the intersection between formal and informal sectors. This study provides critical insight on humanitarian spaces by looking at how narratives and lived experiences of health seeking intersect with or challenge the humanitarian response developed to meet refugees’ health needs.


This project is a collaboration between LSHTM and the American University of Beirut.