A long term adverse psychosocial experience of survivors of hawzenaerial bombardment

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of the study was to find out a long term adverse psychosocial experience of survivors of Hawzen aerial bombardment. To carry out this study an existential (Phenomenological) qualitative design was utilized. Participants of the studywere selected using purposive sampling. In-depth interview was conducted within 10 days. Twenty survivors of the aerial strike participated in this study. The generated relevant data were analyzed thematically using manually. Totally, three themes (i.e. psychological problems, social problems and their coping strategies) emerged from the interview. The study result on the first theme reveals that respondents have psychological problems (anger and hatred, dependence, depression, hopelessness, need for support and care, distressing memories of the traumatic event, avoidance, stress, fear and shock). Regarding the second theme, most of the participants have restricted social interaction, instable market; funeral, marriage and homelessness were also encountered. On the last theme, the study depicted that the respondents employed emotion based (crying, escaping, talking each other, cognitive distraction) and situation based (Praying, at tending church/mosque and supporting each other) coping mechanisms to manage the problems they faced. This study found that though the aerial raid took place thirty years ago, survivors are reliving the trauma of that day till now. The intervention made by concerned bodies to manage the psychosocial problems of the victims was poor. This lack of treatment from a trained mental health professionals resulted in the perpetuation of psychological problems and poor recovery among the survivors. In this study recall bias was one of the limitations in coming up with adequate, reliable and fresh data about the aerial bombardment. Similar studies should have been conducted a long time ago. Finally, this qualitative study was conducted on limited number of survivors with limited resource. It’s hoped that the study serves as an eye opener to further large qualitative and quantitative studies.



Adverse, a e r i a l bombardment, experience, psychological problem, social problem, coping mechanisms