Photo: The Domeez refugee camp in Iraq, where MSF has been treating Syrian refugees since this past May. Iraq 2012 © Fayçal Touiz/MSF
Humanitarian Response Still Insufficient For Syrians In and Out of the Country
The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to worsen as the war escalates and attacks against health facilities continue. Access to large parts of the country remains extremely difficult due to insecurity and heavy fighting, and more than two million people have been displaced. The number of Syrians seeking refuge in neighboring countries is increasing, but the humanitarian response in Lebanon and Iraq has so far been unable to meet their needs. The arrival of winter is exacerbating the difficult living conditions of Syrian refugees and the population remaining in the country
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently works in three field hospitals in the north of Syria. Since June, 10,000 patients have received medical attention for reasons including violence-related injuries such as gunshot wounds, shrapnel wounds, open fractures, and injuries due to explosions. More than 900 surgical procedures have been carried out. Admissions are irregular, depending on shifting frontlines and whether it is possible to refer the wounded. MSF is also providing training in mass casualty management, triage, and emergency care to Syrian health personnel who need support in the management of war-wounded patients. Specific assistance is also being provided to medical facilities, such as helping set up an emergency room and a blood bank in Aleppo area.
Several other health facilities have been set up by Syrian doctors and other medical organizations to treat the wounded in the northern region. However, general access to health services remains limited for the population, particularly for people suffering from chronic illnesses. A significant number of MSF’s patients need treatment for chronic disease or accidental trauma, or assistance during childbirth. Further support needs to be developed to meet these needs.