April 2016 Newsletter

The Death of a Hero
On April 13, Syria lost a hero. Dr. Hassan Al-Araj was one of the last few doctors remaining in Hama, and he was the last remaining cardiologist in the area.
UOSSM USA mourns the death of Dr. Al-Araj, the director of the Health Directorate in Hama. Dr. Al-Araj was killed by an air missile targeting the “Cave Hospital” which was built inside a mountain in a “cave like structure” to keep the facility and staff safe.
A couple of months ago Dr. Al-Araj stood in Geneva defending health care workers and facilities against the systematic targeting of health facilities by air forces.
Dr. Al-Araj was one of the most compassionate and caring doctors who dedicated his own hospital and time to help and heal the wounded. He was elected as the director of health in Hama and was working for the sake of the wounded people until he was killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and all those who lost their lives serving the greater good.
Rest in Peace our hero.
Targeting of Medical Facilities Continues in April
April 27 was a deadly day for the healthcare community. One doctor, one dentist, one nurse, a hospital guard and a technician were among the killed in the attacks.
The Al-Quds Hospital, primarily a hospital for women and children, was struck Wednesday April 27, twice within five minutes in the same location by thermobaric bombs at 9:30 p.m. Damascus time, the hospital was completely destroyed. At least 50 were killed in the attack, including women in labor, along with their unborn or newborn babies, and babies in incubators. The number is expected to rise as bodies are still being retrieved from under the rubble. These bombings are taking place while there is a ceasefire agreement that began on February 27.
UOSSM’s Al-Marjeh Primary Health Care Center in Aleppo was bombed and completely destroyed on April 29 leading to complete damage of the PHC, which will now be shut down indefinitely. Fortunately there were no victims and the damage is all material losses.  UOSSM has every plan to rebuild this center and get it back into fully operable condition.

On April 15-17 Dr. Khaula Sawah, along with UOSSM USA board member, Dr. Monzer Yazji, attended UOSSM’s Board Meetings in Gaziantep, Turkey. The meetings were very productive.
Dr. Sawah also attended the UOSSM International General Assembly Meeting on April 17. 

On April 18, Dr. Khaula Sawah, attended the Scientific Day Conference in Gaziantep, Turkey along with UOSSM members, and donor and member organizations. The event was organized by UOSSM.


In the month of April, UOSSM’s hospitals, primary and mental health care centers, UOSSM’s Medical Training and Educational Center, along with mobile clinics were hard at work providing services throughout Syria to those who need it most, including hard to reach areas.


Bab al Hawa Hospital is one of UOSSM’s major initiatives, offering a broad range of specialty, medical and surgical services including general, thoracic, vascular, orthopedic, neuro, urologic, opthalmic, maxillofacial, E.N.T., and pediatric surgeries.
Through the end of April BHH provided services to a total of 31,243 patients. Among the services provided, there was a total of 2259 emergency visits and 215 emergency surgeries. There was a total of 710 specialty surgeries, and 137 pediatric surgeries, along with many other services that the hospital provided.
The new cardiac center was partially opened after receiving new equipment and and funding of supplies and medications for six months from Islamic Relief. UOSSM France provided funding for salaries and operations for a period of five months.

The  UOSSM Medical Training and Qualification Center in Bab al Hawa offered and hosted several training courses in April.
The UOSSM Medical Training and Qualification Center offered a capacity building and training course for psychotherapists and social workers, that is mandatory for a mental health care project in Gaziantep. The course was funded by Relief International.
The first phase of a psychosocial support training course, in the Training and Qualification Center at UOSSM’s  Syrian Medical Center. The course, in collaboration with Medecin du Monde (MDM), offered training to offering training to 33 trainees.
TheTraining and Qualification Center hosted the Orange Organization for a media training course. There was a total of 23 trainees.
The center offered a five day training course as part of the “Re-enablement of Special Needs Children.”
UOSSM’s Medical Training and Education Center via SBMS and Syria Relief in collaboration with The David Nott Foundation offered the “Hostile Environment Surgical Training Course,” in Gaziantep, Turkey on April 14-16 at the Gaziantep Sanko University. David Nott led the course along with 11 doctors from local and international countries. The trainees consisted of 32 different specialized surgeons from 20 hospitals throughout Syria.
David Nott, a British surgeon, is the director of the program “War and Disaster Related Surgery” in the College of Surgeons in Britain.

Many children received support from the project, “Re-enablement of Syrian Children with Special Needs” in the Qah MHPSS Center as well, the pictures below show some of the activities children participated in at the center.
UOSSM’s mobile clinics continue to provide support to people in many areas throughout Syria, including hard-to-reach areas.
UOSSM’s 12 PHC’s continue to provide medical health care services throughout Syria.
UOSSM, in collaboration with International Humanitarian Relief, provided sessions for children with special needs in the Adan Psycho Social Support Center in Adan, Lebanon. Topics included,”Development of Math Skills,” “Development of Social Skills,” and “Stubbornness and Neurological Programs,” among others.
Dr. Abdulaziz director of UOSSM’s research department from Gaziantep, Dr. Hani Mowafi member of UOSSM’s research committee, and President of UOSSM USA, Dr. Monzer Yazji will all be attending this the discussion at Yale University on May 6.