Health

SRD health programThe conflict in Syria has led to a country-wide devastating healthcare crisis that has 2 important and connected components. The first is that healthcare facilities have been at the center of targeted airstrikes—from January to September 2017 there were 218 attacks on healthcare facilities in Syria, and 302 attacks occurred in the previous year. These combined attacks have resulted in nearly 600 deaths and over 730 injuries. The second component to the healthcare crisis is a result of the first: Syria is the most dangerous place on Earth to be a healthcare provider. Those who have not been killed, imprisoned, or had to flee for their family’s safety, are putting their own lives at risk to save the lives of others. As a result, the number of healthcare providers in Syria has reduced drastically over the past 7 years. This makes access to quality healthcare the greatest area of humanitarian need in the country. 

In the conflict’s early stages, SRD’s focus was on immediate first aid and trauma relief through Mobile Medical Points. Later, we established regional hospitals offering a variety of trauma, inpatient and outpatient services. In response to the rise in morbidity and mortality rates due to a lack of quality primary and reproductive healthcare, SRD further-established both stand-alone and integrated primary and reproductive health clinics and an integrated focus on public health through community health programs that complement the multi-level healthcare network in place.

SRD’s healthcare system operates on a holistic, preventative continuum of care, ensuring that each patient receives follow-up care and access to comprehensive services that address both the physical and mental well-being of each patient from the initial visit onwards. Without addressing health concerns on every level of the medical spectrum, neglected conditions affect other components of health and, ultimately, plague a once-thriving society. This has been the case with the shortage in physical therapy and rehabilitation programs, leading to mental health conditions such as depression, despondency and isolation from peers, requiring later intervention in the form of psychosocial support or advanced psychiatric care.

In 2017, SRD provided comprehensive reproductive and pediatric healthcare through numerous service sites including 10 Sexual and Reproductive (SRH) Care Clinics, 60 SRH Outreach Sites, and 4 Maternity and Pediatric Hospitals throughout Northern Syria.

At the 10 SRH clinics, specialized reproductive and pediatric care—including OB/GYN, antenatal, postnatal, neonatal, labor and delivery, emergency obstetric, family planning and referral services—have made quality care easily accessible for women and children. Additionally, clinic staff members have been trained in the recognition, treatment and prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

At SRD’s 60 SRH Outreach Sites in Idleb and Aleppo, trained staff members conduct awareness sessions focusing on critical family planning issues including pregnancy, contraceptives (such as birth control pills, condoms and IUDs, all available on-site), breastfeeding, postnatal care, the recognition, treatment and prevention of SGBV, the prevention and treatment of Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STIs) and the promotion of routine OB/GYN visits. For added comfort and privacy, community members can request individual time with the instructors to discuss personal issues. And as part of the program’s informational outreach, a reproductive health publication, Balsam, that contains information on family planning, pregnancy and motherhood, is produced in Arabic and widely distributed in local communities.

SRD’s 4 Maternity and Pediatric Hospitals provide specialized care through OB/GYN services in addition to labor and delivery, antenatal, natal and postnatal care and lactation support. Staff members are also trained in the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI), Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) and Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC). The hospitals receive women and children with a wide range of needs and use a comprehensive, holistic approach to addressing each patient’s individual needs. Many of the women are conflict-affected and a central part of care remains the recognition, treatment and prevention of SGBV and, in some cases, the Clinical Management of Rape (CMR).

SRD’s Primary Healthcare (PHC) services extend to men, women and children alike through 15 fixed and 3 mobile health clinics that emphasize the prevention and management of acute and chronic conditions, in addition to 7 pharmaceutical distribution sites. Primary health care facilities offer a wide range of services, including:

Outpatient Delivery Services (OPD)–
same-day services that include consultations and follow-up visits with primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare providers offered to the patient.

Immunization Services–
services that must be offered to children to ensure immunity and resistance to infectious diseases. SRD has committed to providing immunizations—such as Measles, Polio, Rubella, Hepatitis, Tetanus Vaccine, and others—at its facilities or ensure referral pathways in coordination with other immunization bodies in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and guidelines.

Communicable Diseases (CD)Management –
poverty, collapsed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) systems, crowded living spaces, poor health and hygiene education and an overall lack of PHC services available in communities have increased the prevalence of CDs in Syria. Given their severe implications and consequences if left untreated, contagious nature and ability to transform into an epidemic in a short amount of time, the CDs that SRD has prioritized through prevention, diagnosis and treatment include Leishmaniasis, Cholera, Measles, Tuberculosis, Upper/Lower Respiratory Infections (RTI), Acute and Watery Diarrhea and Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STI).

Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Management –
SRD is focused on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NCDs which are chronic in nature, or long-term and slow to progress. The 4 main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and respiratory diseases.

Other Services –
Nutrition and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF)
Reproductive Health (RH)
Hygiene Promotion
Psychosocial Support Services (PSS)

SRD’s Trauma and Emergency Hospitals in Northern Syria, situated in Aleppo and Idleb, are vital life-saving facilities that play an integral role in SRD’s healthcare programs: they are our longest-running healthcare facilities and serve as referral points for follow-up care in local clinics, many of which are also part of our healthcare network. Both hospitals provide trauma, emergency services, and health services in a range of specialties as part of their outpatient and inpatient services. The locations of the two facilities reduce hurdles in accessing free quality healthcare in Northern Syria. 

Aleppo Hospital has been hit by aerial strikes several times since 2013, but its staff has persevered each time and continued to provide essential life-saving services at great risk to staff members. The hospital provides essential services in internal medicine, pediatrics, general, orthopedic and vascular surgery, OB/GYN, urology, ear, nose and throat (ENT), psychiatric care and other vital components of critical care. Aleppo Hospital also provides trauma care to internally-displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Northern Syria in the western countryside of Aleppo, making healthcare more accessible to people who would otherwise have been forced to travel toward the Turkish border in search of quality care.

Idleb Hospital is a life-saving facility for civilians deprived of healthcare options as aerial bombardments have destroyed many medical facilities in the region since the conflict began. The hospital offers services in inpatient and outpatient care, ENT, internal medicine and orthopedic and general surgery. Idleb Hospital also has a Radiology Department to perform x-rays, CT scans and Doppler Ultrasound procedures.

Trauma and emergency healthcare is also provided through SRD’s 21 Ambulance System, a network of ambulances in Northern Syria that ensure access to emergency healthcare and trauma services region-wide. The network provides patients in critical emergency care with transportation to trauma facilities while Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide life-sustaining treatment during transport.

Injuries sustained during conflict often include those that require follow-up rehabilitative care. In 2013, SRD established rehabilitation services to meet the demand for such care. SRD’s rehabilitative services include a Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Clinic housed within one of our Primary Health Care Clinics, which also houses an internally operating Dialysis Unit. The Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Clinic consists of the following specialized rehabilitative departments for adults and children: musculoskeletal injuries, cerebral palsy, amputation cases, brain/spinal injuries and burn wounds. In addition to these, the clinic also provides speech and hearing therapy, treatment for congenital abnormalities and deformities and the creation of splints and casts for injuries.

The Dialysis Unit provides dialysis service, a life-saving treatment that prevents the build-up of waste, salt and extra water in the body by removing them. With a shortage of access to treat two of the leading causes of kidney failure—diabetes and high blood pressure—in Syria, SRD has recognized the priority of maintaining dialysis service at our health clinic.

Medical Projects

SRD strives to alleviate the suffering of Syrians by providing and facilitating free healthcare services. Medical projects include:

SRD health programDue to the major role that hospitals play in a community’s balance and resilience, Syria Relief and Development has established several hospitals within Syria. One of them is Al Hayat Hospital which provides obstetrics and gynecology services.

The hospital is in the city of Saraqeb in the southern rural area of Idleb. Its population of nearly 72,000, and  the total population for the surrounding 32 villages that receive assistance is 160,000.

The hospital benefits an average of 6,000 people each month, and more than 50 health care providers serve these beneficiaries.

The hospital provides health services in the following sectors: pediatric clinic, gynecology clinic, newborn incubators, inpatient wards (for gynecology and pediatrics), operation rooms, normal delivery rooms, minor procedures and dressing department, a laboratory, and a free of charge pharmacy.

According to the international health standards, the services that are provided by a hospital are considered the most important and basic health services regarding secondary health care. The hospital’s services include:

  • Basic reproductive health services and pregnant and prenatal care
  • Emergency obstetric care services
  • Health care for children and newborns
  • Nutrition and management of malnutrition cases
  • Monitoring and follow-up of chronic diseases
  • Infectious disease management and follow-up
  • Psychosocial support services
  • Health education and awareness
  • Referral services
  • Nursing Services
  • Dispensing medicines

 

SRD health programSRD strives to provide free of charge medical services to Syrians. As a pioneer in this field, SRD established Al-Fardos Maternity Hospital. The hospital is located in Darat Azza in the western countryside of Aleppo, which is populated by nearly 150,000 people. Concurrently, neighboring populations consisting of more than 45 towns and nearly 200,000 people benefit from the hospital’s services.

The hospital provides health services to an average of 4,500 beneficiaries every month and includes 63 specialized and non-specialist staff members.

Al-Fardos Maternity Hospital provides health services in the following sectors: pediatrics clinic, OB/GYN clinic, incubator for newborn infants, inpatient department for OB/GYN and children, operation room, labor ward, nursing & dressing department, laboratory, and a free of charge pharmacy.

The services provided by the hospital are considered major secondary health care services that follow the international standards of the health sector in disaster situations. The hospital’s services include:

  • Basic reproductive health services
  • Child health services
  • Nutrition services
  • Management of communicable diseases
  • Management of non-communicable diseases
  • Mental health & PSS services
  • Health awareness
  • Referral services
  • Dressing services
  • Medicine distribution

 

SRD health programAl-Rikaya Primary Healthcare Center is one of Syria Relief and Development’s sponsored centers in northern Syria. The center is located in Al-Rikaya, a town in the countryside of Idleb. The 12 neighboring villages, with an additional combined population of 10,000 people, also receive assistance.

The center provides health services to an average of 6,500 beneficiaries each month. Those health services are provided by more than 18 specialized staff members.

The center’s sectors include: pediatrics clinic, gynecology clinic, internal medicine clinic, nursing room, and a delivery room.

The services provided by the center are the cornerstone services of primary health care that follow the international standards of health during disasters.

The services include:

  • Reproductive health services and pre/postnatal
  • Emergency obstetric services
  • Chronic diseases’ management and follow-up
  • Infectious diseases’ management and follow-up
  • Nutrition and malnutrition cases’ follow-up
  • Psychosocial support services
  • Awareness and health education
  • Referral services
  • Dispensing medicines

SRD health programSRD established Kafar Safra Primary Healthcare Center to fulfil its promise to establish and deploy medical centers throughout northern Syria in order to allow for the access of medical services by Syrians in need.

The center is located in the community of Kafar Safra in Afrin in the countryside of Aleppo. Kafar Safra’s population is nearly 8,000. It also provides services to neighboring areas, reaching approximately 55,000 additional people.

The center provides health services to an average of 1,450 beneficiaries every month by more than 14 specialized and non-specialist staff.

It provides health services through the following sectors: pediatrics clinic, OB/GYN clinic, internal medicine clinic, ophthalmology clinic, dermatology clinic, urology clinic, endocrinology clinic, ER, and dressing services.

The services provided by Kafar Safra Primary Healthcare Center are considered the cornerstone of primary health care and follow the international standards of the health sector in disaster situations. Its services include:

  • Basic reproductive health services
  • NCD management
  • CD Management
  • PSS services
  • Health awareness sessions
  • Referral services

SRD is establishing and deploying medical centers throughout northern Syria to provide healthcare access to those in need. Kafr Qasrah Primary Healthcare Center is located in the town of Kafr Safra, which is located in the Afrin region of the countryside of Aleppo with a population of nearly 8,000 people. The population of neighboring areas that benefit from the services of the center are approximately 55,000 people.

The center provides health services to an average of 1,450 beneficiaries each month by about 14 specialized and non-specialized staff members.

The clinic provides services in the following sectors: pediatric clinic, women’s clinic, internal clinic, ophthalmology clinic, dermatology clinic, urinary clinic, endocrine clinic, and a nursing room and dressing room.

The services provided by Kafr Qasrah Primary Healthcare Center are the cornerstone of primary health care and follow the international standards of health in disaster situations. Services include:

  • Reproductive health services and antenatal care
  • Monitoring and follow-up of chronic diseases
  • Surveillance and follow-up of communicable diseases
  • Psycho social support services
  • Awareness and health education
  • Referral services

SRD health programSRD’s Mariam Hospital is a free of charge maternity hospital supported located in Kafr Nobol, a city located in the southern countryside of Idlib with a population of nearly 6,500. Concurrently, about 150,000 people from more than 45 neighboring towns benefit from the hospital.

The hospital provides health services to an average of 4,500 beneficiaries each month by more than 57 specialized and non-specialist staff.

The hospital provides health services through the following sectors: pediatrics clinic, OB/GYN clinic, incubator for newborn infants, inpatient department for OB/GYN and children, operation room, labor ward, nursing department, laboratory, and a free of charge pharmacy.

The services provided by the hospital are considered major secondary health care services that follow the international standards of the health sector in disaster situations. Services include:

  • Basic reproductive Health services
  • Child health services
  • Nutrition services
  • Management of communicable diseases
  • Management of non-communicable diseases
  • Mental health & PSS services
  • Health awareness
  • Referral services
  • Dressing services
  • Medicine distribution

SRD health programRefugee camps top of the list of areas in need of health services. In response to the spread of epidemics in Syria, SRD established Olive Grove Primary Healthcare Center in the northern countryside of Aleppo in A’zaz’s Yazi Bag camp. The camp is populated by nearly 159,000 people. The center provides services to nearly 2,900 beneficiaries each month from more than 16 specialized and non-specialist staff members.

The center provides health services through the following sectors: pediatrics clinic, OB/GYN clinic, internal medicine clinic, and the nursing and dressing department.

The services provided by Olive Grove Primary Healthcare Center are considered the cornerstone of primary health care and follow the international standards of the health sector in disaster situations.
Services include:

  • Basic reproductive health services
  • Child health services
  • Nutrition services
  • Management of communicable diseases
  • Management of non-communicable diseases
  • PSS services
  • Health awareness
  • Referral services
  • Dressing services
  • Medicine distribution

Medical progress is a means of development to preserve human health and safety. However, there is a negative aspect to this development and progress in Syria. The environment is contaminated with various pollutants and medical waste that can lead to serious and often fatal damage to humans.

In order to avoid these great dangers, SRD sought to establish a medical waste incinerator in the northern Aleppo countryside in the town of Mare. Mare was chosen for its location between the main areas of the northern countryside.

Mr. Mohammed Al-Ali, the project manager of the incinerator said, “After nearly three months of hard work, the incinerator officially opened, and the first working day was on February 13, 2019.”

According to Al-Ali, the incinerator collects waste from 20 medical centers in the northern Aleppo countryside, including four major hospitals in the region (Al Bab, Al-Ra’i, Azzaz and Mare Hospitals). The incinerator sorts waste into three sections: metal, plastic and organic. 

Mr. Ahmad, a resident of Mare pointed out, “We urgently need such a project because we all know the seriousness of medical waste and the extent of its threat to our lives, not to mention the lives of our children.”

The incinerator was built on scientific engineering bases in order to get rid of the medical waste in a manner that is best for the environment. Al-Ali indicated that one of the most important reasons for the establishment of the incinerator is the safe disposal of medical waste as described.

 

As a result of the spread of epidemics, Syria Relief and Development established the Karam Zeitoun Primary Health Care Center. The center is located in the Yazi Bagh camp in Izzaz, which is located in the northern Aleppo countryside. The camp’s population is approximately 15,900.

The center provides health services to an average of 2,900 beneficiaries each month by 16 specialized and non-specialist staff.

The center offers its services in the following sectors: children’s clinic, women’s clinic, internal clinic, and the nursing and dressing room.

The services provided by the center are the cornerstone of primary health care and follow the international standards of health in disaster situations. Services include:

  • Reproductive health services and antenatal care
  • Monitoring and follow-up of chronic diseases
  • Surveillance and follow-up of communicable diseases
  • Awareness and health education
  • Referral services