Posts tagged SYRIA

Photo by Mario Travaini
“I was the only midwife on the day Sedra’s mother came to MSF’s hospital in Syria,” says Amanda Godballe, a Danish midwife for MSF. “She was only six months pregnant, but the delivery had already begun. She was expecting her first children – two twin girls. There was no way to stop the delivery as it was already too far along. In our hospital we had very limited possibilities of taking care of premature babies. We had no pediatricians, incubators, or medicine to treat babies this premature. And as I was the only midwife at the hospital that day I had to do some creative thinking, especially because I knew that the children were likely to need resuscitation to stabilize them enough to be transferred to a more fully equipped hospital over the border, where treatment was possible.”
“I got my Belgian co-worker and nurse to help me in the delivery room, although she had never assisted with a delivery before. But inexperienced hands are better than no hands! At the same time I had my good Syrian colleague to help me and also an interpreter.” 
“Both children were quickly born. First Sedra – bottom first – and then her sister – also with her bottom first. They each weighed about 1,200 grams. Sedra was reasonably well stabilized with the help of an oxygen mask and an electric radiator to keep her warm. Unfortunately, her sister did not do as well. She died only 30 minutes old. Sedra was transferred to the border, in one of MSF’s ambulances, along with her mother. And there I was, in the backseat of an ambulance with a teeny tiny vulnerable human being, who had so many odds stacked against her. At the border we had to wait, and when the medics finally came I had to hand them the small bundle across the barbed wire fence, drive back to our makeshift hospital, and hope for the best.”

Photo by Mario Travaini

“I was the only midwife on the day Sedra’s mother came to MSF’s hospital in Syria,” says Amanda Godballe, a Danish midwife for MSF. “She was only six months pregnant, but the delivery had already begun. She was expecting her first children – two twin girls. There was no way to stop the delivery as it was already too far along. In our hospital we had very limited possibilities of taking care of premature babies. We had no pediatricians, incubators, or medicine to treat babies this premature. And as I was the only midwife at the hospital that day I had to do some creative thinking, especially because I knew that the children were likely to need resuscitation to stabilize them enough to be transferred to a more fully equipped hospital over the border, where treatment was possible.”

“I got my Belgian co-worker and nurse to help me in the delivery room, although she had never assisted with a delivery before. But inexperienced hands are better than no hands! At the same time I had my good Syrian colleague to help me and also an interpreter.” 

“Both children were quickly born. First Sedra – bottom first – and then her sister – also with her bottom first. They each weighed about 1,200 grams. Sedra was reasonably well stabilized with the help of an oxygen mask and an electric radiator to keep her warm. Unfortunately, her sister did not do as well. She died only 30 minutes old. Sedra was transferred to the border, in one of MSF’s ambulances, along with her mother. And there I was, in the backseat of an ambulance with a teeny tiny vulnerable human being, who had so many odds stacked against her. At the border we had to wait, and when the medics finally came I had to hand them the small bundle across the barbed wire fence, drive back to our makeshift hospital, and hope for the best.”

Thank you for support in 2013. Our medical teams were challenged by crises all over the world last year. Watch this short video to see what your support allowed us to do.

From the series MSF in 2013:
“At one point, we operated for 40 hours with only one two-hour break. Then we slept for three hours, and operated for another 12 hours after that.”—Dr. John de Csepel, Doctors Without Borders trauma surgeon in SyriaAn MSF surgeon operates on a patient in an inflatable operating theatre set up inside a converted chicken farm in Syria. Photo © Robin Meldrum/MSF

From the series MSF in 2013:

“At one point, we operated for 40 hours with only one two-hour break. Then we slept for three hours, and operated for another 12 hours after that.”
—Dr. John de Csepel, Doctors Without Borders trauma surgeon in Syria
An MSF surgeon operates on a patient in an inflatable operating theatre set up inside a converted chicken farm in Syria. Photo © Robin Meldrum/MSF

Photo by Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF
Mental health needs among Syrian refugees are steadily increasing. In Domeez camp, Iraq, “disorders such as schizophrenia and severe depression are becoming more commonplace, and we are seeing many patients who have suicidal tendencies.” MSF psychologists and counselors have worked here along with medical staff for over a year now. Read more: http://bit.ly/1bcvJm3

Photo by Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF

Mental health needs among Syrian refugees are steadily increasing. In Domeez camp, Iraq, “disorders such as schizophrenia and severe depression are becoming more commonplace, and we are seeing many patients who have suicidal tendencies.” MSF psychologists and counselors have worked here along with medical staff for over a year now. Read more: http://bit.ly/1bcvJm3

"Most diplomatic discussion on Syria has focused on the recent chemical weapons attack … Meanwhile, the residents of this area continue to face daily bombings and a blockade that deprives them of the food and medicines that they need to survive. And humanitarian assistance is not even on the agenda of international negotiations." - MSF op-ed, published Sept. 17 http://bit.ly/19hy5yo

"Most diplomatic discussion on Syria has focused on the recent chemical weapons attack … Meanwhile, the residents of this area continue to face daily bombings and a blockade that deprives them of the food and medicines that they need to survive. And humanitarian assistance is not even on the agenda of international negotiations." - MSF op-ed, published Sept. 17 http://bit.ly/19hy5yo

An MSF nurse tries to make a young patient smile in the ER of one of MSF’s makeshift hospitals in Syria. “We work as a beehive,” said one of the Syrian nurses. “Not only war-related cases are admitted, the hospital also receives normal medical cases, such as flu or medical emergencies, pediatrics—everything, even blood transfers. It’s similar to any regular hospital.” Before the current war, Syrians used to have access to good quality health care; now MSF is trying to help fill the enormous gaps.
Photo by Robin Meldrum/MSF

An MSF nurse tries to make a young patient smile in the ER of one of MSF’s makeshift hospitals in Syria. “We work as a beehive,” said one of the Syrian nurses. “Not only war-related cases are admitted, the hospital also receives normal medical cases, such as flu or medical emergencies, pediatrics—everything, even blood transfers. It’s similar to any regular hospital.” Before the current war, Syrians used to have access to good quality health care; now MSF is trying to help fill the enormous gaps.

Photo by Robin Meldrum/MSF

An MSF nurse performs an ante-natal consultation for a pregnant woman in one of MSF’s makeshift hospitals in Syria. “Before this war people in Syria had good quality health care,” said MSF surgeon Steve Rubin. “Many Syrians really want that care again. But in this area, other than us, all the other medical facilities are doing war trauma. So they come here because this is their only option.”
Photo by Cathy Janssens/MSF

An MSF nurse performs an ante-natal consultation for a pregnant woman in one of MSF’s makeshift hospitals in Syria. “Before this war people in Syria had good quality health care,” said MSF surgeon Steve Rubin. “Many Syrians really want that care again. But in this area, other than us, all the other medical facilities are doing war trauma. So they come here because this is their only option.”

Photo by Cathy Janssens/MSF

A boy with asthma receives oxygen in the ER section of an MSF hospital in Syria. The dust had aggravated his asthma and he arrived unable to breathe. It was impossible for his parents to find an asthma inhaler in Syria. There are countless people affected by common health problems in Syria, pathologies that would be entirely manageable in normal settings but can quickly become deadly in the midst of a war, when the usual health care options are suddenly no longer available. Diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and maternal health complications are all taking their toll.
Photo by Robin Meldrum/MSF

A boy with asthma receives oxygen in the ER section of an MSF hospital in Syria. The dust had aggravated his asthma and he arrived unable to breathe. It was impossible for his parents to find an asthma inhaler in Syria. There are countless people affected by common health problems in Syria, pathologies that would be entirely manageable in normal settings but can quickly become deadly in the midst of a war, when the usual health care options are suddenly no longer available. Diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and maternal health complications are all taking their toll.

Photo by Robin Meldrum/MSF

In Syria, MSF surgeon Steve Rubin treats a patient in an inflatable operating theatre inside a makeshift hospital that used to be a chicken farm. The inflatable theatre is a good way to create a sterile environment. “We don’t have everything we need,” said Rubin, “but we make it work. You tell yourself ‘I’m going to do the best I can do with what I have, and save as many lives as I can.’”
Photo by Robin Meldrum/MSF

In Syria, MSF surgeon Steve Rubin treats a patient in an inflatable operating theatre inside a makeshift hospital that used to be a chicken farm. The inflatable theatre is a good way to create a sterile environment. “We don’t have everything we need,” said Rubin, “but we make it work. You tell yourself ‘I’m going to do the best I can do with what I have, and save as many lives as I can.’”

Photo by Robin Meldrum/MSF

Photo by Marjie Middleton/MSF
"We’ve heard stories of women left to deliver on their own in a tent. Such stories are very upsetting to me as a midwife, because I know how dangerous it is and how awful it must be for a mother to give birth scared and alone.” - MSF midwife in Lebanon working with pregnant Syrian refugees  Read the story 

Photo by Marjie Middleton/MSF

"We’ve heard stories of women left to deliver on their own in a tent. Such stories are very upsetting to me as a midwife, because I know how dangerous it is and how awful it must be for a mother to give birth scared and alone.” - MSF midwife in Lebanon working with pregnant Syrian refugees  Read the story 

U.S. surgeon Steve Rubin is working in an inflatable operating theatre in northern Syria, where the health care system has been destroyed by war. See a video about treating patients in Syria here.

U.S. surgeon Steve Rubin is working in an inflatable operating theatre in northern Syria, where the health care system has been destroyed by war. See a video about treating patients in Syria here.

Photo by Anna Surinyach
"I have worked in some pretty ugly spots, but coming away from Syria I was really disturbed… by what seemed to be almost a mass psychosis in the population. You could read it in their faces, manifest in some as profound sadness and in others as intense rage and anger." - MSF’s Dr. Greg Elder in the New Zealand Herald
Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10891396

Photo by Anna Surinyach

"I have worked in some pretty ugly spots, but coming away from Syria I was really disturbed… by what seemed to be almost a mass psychosis in the population. You could read it in their faces, manifest in some as profound sadness and in others as intense rage and anger." - MSF’s Dr. Greg Elder in the New Zealand Herald

Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10891396

"Our patients are an eclectic profile. Some are traditionally dressed and come from rural parts of Syria. These include the Bedouin people, who often have facial tattooing and traditional dress. Many women wear the burka. Some people are clothed in typical modern-day European/American attire of jeans and t-shirt. These people are generally from the cities such as Homs, Damascus and Aleppo. Despite their aesthetic differences, they have something in common. They have all lost everything they owned. They have all witnessed horrendous tragedy and acts of violence. They are all mourning the deaths of loved ones. And what is worse, they are living in fear about the fate of loved ones who are unaccounted for, left behind in Syria." - MSF doctor Aoife Doran in Tripoli.
Read more: http://blogs.msf.org/aoifed/2013/05/swing-of-things/
Photo © Aurelie Lachant/MSF

"Our patients are an eclectic profile. Some are traditionally dressed and come from rural parts of Syria. These include the Bedouin people, who often have facial tattooing and traditional dress. Many women wear the burka. Some people are clothed in typical modern-day European/American attire of jeans and t-shirt. These people are generally from the cities such as Homs, Damascus and Aleppo. Despite their aesthetic differences, they have something in common. They have all lost everything they owned. They have all witnessed horrendous tragedy and acts of violence. They are all mourning the deaths of loved ones. And what is worse, they are living in fear about the fate of loved ones who are unaccounted for, left behind in Syria." - MSF doctor Aoife Doran in Tripoli.

Read more: http://blogs.msf.org/aoifed/2013/05/swing-of-things/

Photo © Aurelie Lachant/MSF

Photo:Ain el-Helweh in Saida is the largest camp hosting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Lebanon 2013 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF.
From Damascus to Ain el-Helweh: Palestinians in Syria Flee to Lebanon
“I’m deeply sad inside, but I need to appear strong in front of my family,” says a man called Mahmood while sitting in the narrow room he now shares with his wife and six-year-old son in the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida, Lebanon. Until almost two months ago, he’d been living in another camp for Palestinians, this one in Damascus, but the conflict in Syria had made it impossible to stay.
“It’s very difficult,” he says. “Seven of my relatives were killed by the bombings and shootings in Syria. We saw their mutilated bodies. I buried them myself and buried my neighbors too. My son disappeared. One month later, my brother disappeared. I’m sure they got killed and this is causing me a lot of sadness.”

Photo:Ain el-Helweh in Saida is the largest camp hosting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Lebanon 2013 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF.

From Damascus to Ain el-Helweh: Palestinians in Syria Flee to Lebanon

“I’m deeply sad inside, but I need to appear strong in front of my family,” says a man called Mahmood while sitting in the narrow room he now shares with his wife and six-year-old son in the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida, Lebanon. Until almost two months ago, he’d been living in another camp for Palestinians, this one in Damascus, but the conflict in Syria had made it impossible to stay.

“It’s very difficult,” he says. “Seven of my relatives were killed by the bombings and shootings in Syria. We saw their mutilated bodies. I buried them myself and buried my neighbors too. My son disappeared. One month later, my brother disappeared. I’m sure they got killed and this is causing me a lot of sadness.”

Photo: A transit camp near the Turkish border. Syria 2013 © Anna Surinyach/MSF
10,000 Syrians Seek Shelter Near Turkish Border
Several months ago, Hussein Alwawi was living in Aleppo with his family. But, he recalls, “A warplane attacked our neighborhood and lots of houses were destroyed, including ours. We were not at home at the time, but two families were killed.”
Five days later, he and his family set out towards Syria’s border with Turkey. They found an ad hoc settlement that now hosts some 10,000 displaced Syrians, more than double the number who’d been there at the beginning of the year. While it is officially known as a “transit camp,” it would be more accurate to call it a camp for internally displaced people, or IDPs.
Driven from their homes by the war, most of these IDPs now live in tents set up in a field formerly occupied by a customs office, though Alwawi and his family found sanctuary inside a mosque. In a quest to create some sense of normalcy, people have set up barbershops and foodstalls, even a school for the children.

Photo: A transit camp near the Turkish border. Syria 2013 © Anna Surinyach/MSF

10,000 Syrians Seek Shelter Near Turkish Border

Several months ago, Hussein Alwawi was living in Aleppo with his family. But, he recalls, “A warplane attacked our neighborhood and lots of houses were destroyed, including ours. We were not at home at the time, but two families were killed.”

Five days later, he and his family set out towards Syria’s border with Turkey. They found an ad hoc settlement that now hosts some 10,000 displaced Syrians, more than double the number who’d been there at the beginning of the year. While it is officially known as a “transit camp,” it would be more accurate to call it a camp for internally displaced people, or IDPs.

Driven from their homes by the war, most of these IDPs now live in tents set up in a field formerly occupied by a customs office, though Alwawi and his family found sanctuary inside a mosque. In a quest to create some sense of normalcy, people have set up barbershops and foodstalls, even a school for the children.