UOSSM USA Receives Federal Award!
We are excited to announce that UOSSM USA was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of State to support educational enrichment integrated with psychosocial support services (PSS) to refugee and underserved children in Jordan! Working in collaboration with Bareeq Education and Development in Amman, this after-school program will assist 400 children in becoming better prepared to assimilate into local school systems.
UOSSM USA President, Dr. Khaula Sawah expressed, “We are honored to build upon our partnership with the Bareeq Center through this opportunity to continue enriching the education of children in Amman and providing the psychosocial support they so desperately need. Many of these children are Syrian refugees who have witnessed unimaginable atrocities, the loss of loved ones, displacement, and other traumatic experiences. Through this collaboration, we hope to empower these children to overcome their trauma. With the support of the U.S. Department of State, these children will not only receive equal access to education but also receive the nurturance they need to improve their overall wellbeing and contribute positively to our global society. Children are our future – they are our hope for a better tomorrow. We are very pleased to be a part of this transformational journey which will help them heal as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.”
The Spread of Cholera Continues in Northwest Syria
Cholera continues to spread in northwest Syria. As of October 31, at least 36 people have died from cholera in northern Syria since early September. The outbreak may be tied to unclean water from the Euphrates River which is used for drinking and watering crops (resulting in food contamination), and improper sewage among displacement camps.
UOSSM is responding with preventative measures for mild to moderate cases in northwest Syria to include the provision of:
Promoting Dialogue on World Mental Health Day
On World Mental Health Day (October 10), the UOSSM Psychiatric and Mental Illness Hospital in Sarmada organized an awareness-raising session on the importance of making mental health care accessible to everyone.
The various activities presented the severe effects of the conflict on the mental health of civilians. Through discussions, role-playing, and success stories, the life of someone with a mental illness was portrayed.
The event also included discussions and life experiences among the attendees and mental health workers, which deepened the importance of mental health and shed light on misconceptions about mental health and the importance of addressing the causes that lead to mental illness.
The training helps doctors handle and treat critical cases in hospitals, increasing the survival rate of patients with life-threatening diseases. Patients with life-threatening diseases often experience rapid deterioration of their health and unexpected side effects during treatment, which requires constant monitoring and immediate, and effective response by the medical staff.
This training is designed for internal medicine residents and family medicine residents who work in emergency and intensive care departments in hospitals that provide internal medicine services.
Even though parents are always fearful that something might happen to their child, it is important to allow them to experience things on their own. Being overly protective deprives a child of many opportunities to develop and grow. After completing the sessions, Ismael’s mother understood the importance of this and how to help him develop and grow in a positive way. She emphasized, “I gained so much knowledge from the program, I learned great ideas on creating fun activities and games with things we have around the house. I had no idea how effective these activities were for my child’s development!”
Thank you to our supporters who enable families like this to reach the programs they need, in such difficult circumstances, every single day.
Together, we continue to lives and build hope!
How YOU can help!
If you have any questions, please contact us at: email@example.com
Providing the Gift of Sight to Syrian Refugees in Jordan
Vision impairment or vision loss can be a major burden on anyone, but can be especially difficult if that person does not have the means or access for the surgery to repair it. In September, UOSSM USA provided ophthalmic surgeries to Syrian refugees in Jordan who were experiencing moderate to complete vision loss.
Most of these patients have been suffering silently for years with continued deterioration of vision. Led by Dr. Muhammad Huwari, the team successfully performed four cataract (Phaco+iol) surgeries and one cross linking surgery. One patient was a pregnant woman who was in danger of losing her sight since doctors were refusing to do the surgery until after she delivered her baby – out of fear that the x-ray could harm the fetus. She struggled every day, but after delivering her healthy baby nine months later, she was able to have the cross-linking procedure and can now see again!
The ophthalmic surgeries are part of the UOSSM USA Surgeries project which aims to provide a variety of surgeries, free of charge, to refugee, needy, and other underserved families in Jordan, who would otherwise not have access or the means for these vital surgical operations. This will help improve their health and overall wellbeing, and alleviate their suffering.
Growing Fears of Cholera Outbreak in Northwest Syria
Fears of a Cholera outbreak are growing among the health sector in northwest Syria. With an already strained health care system due to years of war, attacks on healthcare facilities, and most recently, COVID, these fears have become a reality with the first two Cholera cases confirmed on September 17. This has now become an imminent danger, putting vulnerable lives at risk. The outbreak may be tied to unclean water from the Euphrates River which is used for drinking and watering crops (resulting in food contamination), and improper sewage among displacement camps.
Patients are experiencing acute watery diarrhea, vomiting with fever, and severe dehydration – all symptoms consistent with Cholera.
As of October 20, there were 14,844 suspected cases, and 27 deaths in northeast Syria, according to EWARN Syria. While in northwest Syria, there were 1,755 total suspected cases and 2 deaths in northwest Syria as well as 374 cases and 2 deaths in Nabaa Al Salam (Peace Spring). These numbers continue to rise.
UOSSM is responding with preventative measures in northwest Syria for mild to moderate cases including the provision of:
The CHWs will be responsible for:
– Providing awareness messages
– Distributing hygiene kits and oral rehydration solutions
– Referring suspected cases
For severe cases, UOSSM seeks to establish Cholera Treatment Units (CTU), treatment units attached to existing health facilities in northwest Syria.
Fifth Medical Mission to Ukraine for Surgical Trainings
UOSSM completed its fifth medical mission in late August with surgical trainings for surgeons. In partnership with the David Nott Foundation, UOSSM conducted two Hostile Environment Surgical Trainings (HEST) targeting 74 surgeons of various specialties who work in hospitals receiving critical trauma injuries in eastern Ukraine.
The trainings were carried out in coordination with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health’s Scientific and Practical Disaster Management Center.
UOSSM will continue to respond as needed in Ukraine with vital surgical trainings. You can learn more about our work in Ukraine by clicking here.
Support our work in Ukraine by clicking here.
In mid-September, a UOSSM team went on a medical mission to Pakistan to assess the damage and to help support the people with medical and humanitarian aid. The catastrophic flooding caused a humanitarian crisis.
Approximately 33 million people have been affected with extremely limited access to food, clean water, shelter and medical care. Over 1.7 million homes were damaged, leaving thousands of displaced families. The unsanitary conditions have caused the spread of skin infections and other diseases such as Malaria and Cholera, especially among the most vulnerable, children and women. UOSSM is in the planning phase of supporting the people of Pakistan with a mobile clinic to provide access to desperately needed medical care. Watch this video to learn more about the crisis in Pakistan and UOSSM’s response.
You can support our work to reach those in Pakistan and other areas of crisis by clicking here.
On Sunday, September 18, the Idlib Health Directorate and UOSSM held a graduation ceremony for 43 students (14 females, 29 males) who earned the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nursing degree.
This degree program is part of the Research for Health Systems Strengthening in the Northwest of Syria (R4HSSS) project and is the first of its kind in the area. The degree program aims to ensure that the health sector has a wide variety of qualified, specialized nurses available to provide specialty care.
12-year-old Weam witnessed many traumatic events throughout the war in Syria, but the one that really affected her mental health was after her school was bombed while she was in class. She still remembers the scary sounds, one of her classmates passing out, and just the overall terrifying experience. As a result of this trauma, Weam became afraid of everything. She was not only afraid of the dark, but also of anyone who would talk with her.
Weam visited Al Bab Mental Health Center, where she received treatment to help her process and cope with her fears. Through the TRT (Teaching Recovery Techniques) for children treatment plan, we are happy to report that Weam has begun the healing process and is no longer afraid.
Countless children have been traumatized with what they have witnessed in Syria over the past 11 years.
Supporters like YOU can help them access mental health services, which will allow them to heal from these traumatic experiences and live more productive lives.
Together, we are saving lives and building hope.
Did you know?
Since 2012, UOSSM has been providing emergency medical relief and healthcare services to the Syrian people affected by the crisis, working primarily inside Syria as well as with Syrian refugees in Turkey.
In 2021 UOSSM provided:
– medical services to almost 1.4 million people in Syria and Turkey
– protection services to over 55,000 people
– nutrition services focused on women and children to over 184,000 beneficiaries
– care to over 40,000 people through our mental health and psychosocial support program
– health care services to over 1 million patients at Bab Al Hawa Hospital through the end of 2019
UOSSM USA is a US federally tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) Charitable Humanitarian organization. Tax-Exempt. Tax ID 47-3403988. All donations to UOSSM USA are fully deductible from taxes to the greatest extent permitted by law. Charitable Solicitation Disclosures available on our website: www.uossm.us
Copyright © *2022* *UOSSM USA, All rights reserved.
Tonsillectomies for Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan
Even the most minor of illnesses can become a major burden on refugee families who don’t have the financial means to get the medical care needed in their host country. There is nothing more painful than watching your child suffer without the ability to alleviate their suffering.
To help ease the suffering of the children, and their families, UOSSM USA provided eight tonsillectomies in August, to Syrian refugee children in Jordan, who have been suffering from illness, infections, high fevers, and difficulty sleeping. Four of the patients were from Al-Emirati Camp and four were from Amman.
Parents were put at ease knowing their children will no longer suffer, and the children will heal and lead better lives without constantly being sick.
Local News Features Work of Dr. Khaula Sawah, President of UOSSM USA
HIRS Telemedicine Training to Service Providers in Northern Syria
In August, UOSSM provided physical training to 37 healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, ICU technicians, cardiologists, mental health providers, and data entry staff from four local hospitals. This training will qualify healthcare providers to continue online consultation with qualified health professionals and ensure that they can become proficient in these technologies to deliver medical services for more complex cases.
The telemedicine service is part of the Health Integrated Resilience System HIRS and provides mental health care services through Sarmada and Al-Bab Mental Health Hospitals, pediatric care through the Al-Ekhaa Hospital, and cardiac care through the Atma Charity Hospital.
These events were attended by community leaders, leaders of the Dayr Hasan displacement camp, members of local organizations, staff of the health and education sectors, and partners of the Ahlen Simsim Project.
In 2021, the program provided services to over 1200 children between the ages of three and eight. The goal of the center is restoring hope and opportunity to a generation of children affected by crisis, and to enhance their wellbeing, functionality, emotional and social skills of children in conflict.
Najam was entered into the Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) program which teaches children how to cope with their feelings and emotions from past experiences. The program helped Najam begin the slow process of healing. He gained the skills needed to cope with his feelings and emotions and is finally on the road to recovery. With his determination and the support of the mental health staff, Najam will continue to heal and ultimately have a chance at a better quality of life.
Like Najam, there are countless Syrian children who have experienced unimaginable trauma and continue to suffer in silence. Supporters like you enable Syrian children and their families begin the healing process for a more promising future.
Fighting Hunger through Adahi/Qurbani Meat Distribution
UOSSM USA distributed Adahi/Qurbani meat to 250 displaced families in Rukban Camp along the Syrian/Jordanian border. Around 12,000 displaced people, 80% of whom are children and women, are living in this makeshift camp. More than half of those families are in dire need with extremely limited access to food, clean water, and medical care. You can help us reach more families with support by clicking here.
UOSSM USA also distributed Adahi/Qurbani meat to 184 needy and underserved families in the Cincinnati area in partnership with Casablanca Market, thanks to a grant award from Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA).
During this annual tradition, we were able to continue building hope for those in need!
Exhibiting Art “Through Their Eyes”
On July 4th, UOSSM held its second annual art exhibit entitled, “Let’s See Through Their Eyes” in the city of Al Bab. The gallery displayed artwork and handmade crafts by patients of the local mental health hospital.
Over 80 different pieces of art including drawings, paintings, paperwork, knitted items, calligraphy, and other art pieces were displayed.
Their artwork helps patients develop a sense of importance and pride, thus improving their mental health and overall wellbeing.
Operating a New Hospital in Idlib
UOSSM recently signed an agreement with OCHA to operate Qunya Hospital in Idlib.
Located in a highly prioritized area within the vicinity of Idlib, Jisr Al Shughour, and Qunya, the hospital is well equipped with important medical equipment and includes a vaccination room that provides routine vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, there is a special incinerator for waste management.
The hospital provides medical consultations to around 7,500 patients a month.
Over the past 11 years, the electrical infrastructure and network in Syria have suffered immense damages due to ongoing violence. Through the UOSSM technical team, which leads the Health Resilience Program, six health facilities will be powered by the Solar Photovoltaic System by September 2022.
The main goal of this intervention is to ensure the continuity of service within the medical facilities, through clean and advanced technologies “solar photovoltaic systems.” This will reduce operating expenses (expected to be over 85%), and secure energy during power outages, or diesel shortages.
This will ultimately increase resilience and the independence from these factors (fuel and power) within Syria’s health care system.
On July 5th, UOSSM held a ceremony to launch the “Amal and Takamul” (Hope and Integration) Project in Syria with the purpose of establishing a mental health department in the Free Aleppo University. Attendees included representatives from the European Union, Free Aleppo University, the Syrian Board of Medical Specialties (SBOMS), and other donors and partners.
The residency program will last for four years at the UOSSM Center for Mental Health in Northwest Syria and will include a full curriculum for mental health care established by the Arab Council for Mental Health Care.
Miracle Story: Miraculous Survival of 3-Year-Old Girl
3-year-old Safa almost died by drowning. She fell into a sewer but by the time her family reached her in the sewage, she was unconscious. Her parents thought they had lost their beautiful child but they did not give up hope.
Safa was rushed to the recently opened Al-Andalus Hospital (see “New Beginnings” story below) where doctors literally saved her life. After being in the ICU on a ventilator for three days, Safa miraculously regained consciousness and was able to breathe on her own. After a few more days, Safa was given a clean bill of health and went home to her family. What a miracle story!
We are so grateful that this story had a happy ending. Thanks to our supporters, children like Safa have access to vital, lifesaving, dignified, free, quality medical and mental health care. Through your kindness, YOU are helping ensure that these children and their families receive the healthcare they deserve. Because of your generous gift, children like Safa can become stronger both physically and emotionally, paving the way towards a healthier and more promising future.
Together, we continue to save lives and build hope!
Fourth Surgical Medical Mission in Ukraine
In early June, UOSSM completed its 4th medical mission in Ukraine, in partnership with the David Nott Foundation (DNF). The 2-week surgical trainings, Hostile Environment Surgical Trainings (HEST) were led by world-renowned trauma surgeon Dr. David Nott, and his team from the UK. Recognized as the “Indiana Jones of surgery”, Dr. Nott often volunteers to work in disaster and war zones. Dr. Nott partnered with UOSSM in the past to provide these vital trainings to Syrian doctors in Syria and Turkey, training them to save lives from war wounds and injuries.
The recent HEST trainings in Ukraine included one three-day training in Dnipro, with 38 surgeons, and another three-day training in Kharkiv, where 30 surgeons received the intensive training course. One complicated surgery was also performed on a patient with severe war wounds.
Dr. Khaula Sawah and Dr. Monzer Yazji, both co-founders of UOSSM USA, joined the surgical trainings. In addition, Dr. Sawah met with the director of the Ukrainian Ministry of Public Health Center of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine, Dr. Vitaliy Kryliuk, who was very appreciative of the work UOSSM, along with DNF, is doing on the ground in Ukraine. Dr. Kruylik emphasized the importance to provide doctors and surgeons with more advanced, structured, vital trainings, and to provide Training of Trainers (ToTs) courses to advance the skills of Ukrainian surgeons to handle and treat war zone injuries in particular on the frontlines to train fellow Ukrainian surgeons.
To learn more about our medical work in Ukraine click here.
Click here to support upcoming medical missions in Ukraine.
New Beginnings: UOSSM Opens Al-Andalus Hospital in Idlib
On June 28th, UOSSM officially opened Al-Andalus Hospital (formerly Abeen Hospital) which includes specialty clinics, operating rooms, and rehabilitation centers. The hospital serves a catchment area of 185,000 people. It is located in the vicinity of 67 camps of displacement with over 96,000 internally displaced persons. As such, it is vital for providing critical medical services to those who need it most in these hard-to-reach areas.
The hospital specializes in general, laparoscopic, urinary, and gynecological surgeries, and has other specialty departments including reproductive health, mental health, lab, and radiology. In addition, surgical, pediatric, gynecological, urinary care, and general surgeries are provided. The lab, radiology, emergency, and labor and delivery departments operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Via the Health Integrated Resilience System (HIRS) Telemedicine Platform, online consultations are still ongoing between local service providers and medical experts at two major mental health hospitals (Sarmada in Idlib, and Al-Bab in Aleppo). In addition, online consultations are provided in both Al-Ekhaa Hospital (Pediatrics Department) and Atmeh Charity Hospital (Intensive Care Unit).
Telemedicine helps reduce the gap among qualified health professionals (ICU, MH, NICU, and PICU) as it provides opportunities for consultations, educational opportunities, and mentorship with other specialists (diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up for complex cases).
The Electric Vehicle (EV) continues to transport vaccines from cold rooms to primary healthcare facilities, in cooperation with the Syria Immunization Group (SIG). Each month, the EV distributes 12,000 vaccine doses.
In addition, the EV is vital for transporting and transferring COVID-19 patients, pregnant women, and children under one year old. As part of the referral network, the EV will also begin to transport patients in the near future.
The EV uses a lithium battery charged at health facilities powered by solar energy, making it 100% electric. The use of the EV is expected to result in long-term significant savings by reducing dependence on fuel and strengthening the health system.
Impact Story: Expression Through Art
Shaimaa was suffering both mentally and physically due to many issues including hearing and speech impairment, depression, and anxiety. She was sad and hopeless with extremely low self-esteem. Being displaced only made things worse in her young life.
Shaimaa visited UOSSM Turkey’s Special Needs Rehabilitation (SNR) center but could not receive any speech therapy until she first received a hearing aid. During her initial consultation, the psychologist observed that Shaimaa was dealing with many emotional issues and began art therapy sessions to help her overcome this.
A young, brilliant artist, Shaimaa expressed herself and her emotions through her artwork. Sad pictures reflected her melancholy feelings while bright and colorful art reflected her happier days. Through the art therapy sessions, Shaimaa’s self-esteem improved. After 7-8 sessions at our center, a significant improvement in her condition was noticed – she felt accomplished and stronger. You can watch a video about Shaimaa here!
Yet, there are countless other Syrian children like Shaimaa throughout Syria, Turkey and Jordan, who are also feeling hopeless and alone. They too are in need of medical and mental healthcare services. With YOUR generous gifts, YOU are helping ensure these children receive the healthcare they deserve. Thanks to your support, these children can become stronger both physically and emotionally, paving the way towards a healthier and more promising future.
You can click here to continue to support children like Shaimaa!
Medical and Psychological Aspects of War Workshop
On May 26th, UOSSM Ukraine, in participation with the International Academy of Personal Management, organized and presented its, “Medical and Psychological Aspects of War” lecture and training workshop to over 25 doctors and volunteers.
The hybrid program sessions were offered both in-person and virtual formats focused on the following topics:
Upon completion of the training session, all participants were presented with certificates of completion.
Click here to support our work in Ukraine.
Continuing Nutrition Services in Northwest Syria
Malnutrition continues to threaten the lives of children in displacement camps in northwest Syria where malnourishment touches 1 out of every 5 children in Idlib and 1 in 4 children in Aleppo.
UOSSM continues to respond as nutrition teams visit areas of displacement, screening children for malnutrition. Acute malnutrition cases are treated on the spot, while parents/guardians are provided with educational materials and advice on how to maintain their child at a healthy weight. Severe malnutrition cases are referred to area hospitals or clinics for more urgent care.The nutrition teams follow up on a regular basis with the child until he/she reaches a healthy weight.
Feeding Orphans, Displaced, and Needy Families in Ramadan
During the month of April (which coincided with the month of Ramadan), we were able to reach hundreds of orphans, refugees, and displaced families in Syria and Jordan by providing them with warm Iftar meals. This was made possible through the support of Hathi Hayati, a local organization that supports needy and displaced and needy families with shelter, food and special projects
Click here to watch one of the Iftar dinner videos in Jordan for orphans and their families – which will warm your heart!
In this month of reflection, we would like to convey how grateful we are for your support – we could not do this life-changing work without YOU!
Together, we truly are saving lives and building hope!
Providing Food to the Underserved and Needy in Cincinnati
Islamic Relief USA awarded a grant to UOSSM USA for the distribution of Ramadan food baskets to needy and underserved families in the Cincinnati area during Ramadan. In partnership with the Islamic Association of Cincinnati (IAC) – Clifton Mosque, UOSSM USA was able to distribute 80 food baskets to 75 families through its food pantry which runs year round.
This would not have been possible without the amazing support of our partners and volunteers! Thank you!
Surgical Medical Mission in Ukraine
On April 2nd -12th, UOSSM USA, in partnership with British renowned war doctor, Dr. David Nott of the David Nott Foundation, led a surgical medical mission which provided training workshops to doctors, and critical surgeries to patients affected by the war in Ukraine. Dr. David Nott, along with Dr. Monzer Yazji, Dr. Ahmad Dbais and Dr. Mohammed Zaidiye all contributed and coordinated in the surgical medical mission.
Throughout the 10 days, the medical mission team visited major hospitals where complex reconstructive and plastic surgeries were performed on victims of attacks while doctors observed and were provided with training on treating injured victims of war and war weapons. Click here to read our full press release on the surgical medical mission.
Dr. Monzer Yazji, co-founder of UOSSM USA stated, “As Dr. Nott and I were visiting hospitals in Ukraine, we witnessed very similar severe injuries to the ones we witnessed in Syria. It was harrowing to see this type of history repeat itself and victims with the same types of horrible injuries.” Dr. Yazji was interviewed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN about the medical mission in Ukraine. Click here to watch the full CNN report!
There are still countless others who require medical attention. As a result, another medical mission is being planned in June. Click here to support our medical mission in Ukraine.
Continuing Services in Sarmada Mental Health Hospital
UOSSM signed an agreement to continue providing a complete package of mental health services through the Sarmada Mental Health Hospital, and two mental health mobile clinics, beginning on May 1, 2022.
The hospital is the only center that treats mental and psychological disorders in northwest Syria. In 2021 the hospital and mobile clinics had 3048 beneficiaries, and provided 6928 consultations.
Training Center for SBOMS
After a committee from the Syrian Board of Medical Specialties (SBOMS) visited the Al Andalus Hospital, it announced the decision to use the hospital as a training center specializing in pediatrics and general surgery.
The hospital, which follows all standards and guidelines required by specialized authorities and councils will provide training to local resident pediatricians and general surgeons, building and strengthening their capacity.
Overcoming Health Care Service Challenges in Syria
Despite many challenges, UOSSM continues to provide primary, secondary, and tertiary health care services to the most vulnerable and needy families through 6 hospitals, 14 primary health care centers, 7 specialty centers, and 3 mobile clinics in northwest Syria. All centers follow strict prevention and protection guidelines adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Helping Displaced and Needy Families in Ramadan
Imagine fasting all day and not knowing if or when you will even be able to eat your next meal. This is the dire situation for thousands of displaced Syrian families.
Join us this Ramadan to help feed the hungry, improve their health and well-being, and ease their suffering. YOU can help us continue to reach the most vulnerable with our lifesaving and vital humanitarian, emergency and medical services.
With YOUR support, we can reach at least 1,000 displaced refugee families this Ramadan who are in need in Syria and Jordan.
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan.”Any contribution to support these families and our work will make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Each dollar donated during Ramadan is multiplied!
Please click here to support this campaign.
Haneen is Recovering after Complicated Surgery
Thanks to YOUR support, 9-year-old Haneen was able to get the medical care she needed after complicated surgery from a health condition. After rehabilitation treatment at Bab Al-Hawa Rehabilitation Center, she is now on the road to recovery!
Many children like Haneen live in hard-to-reach areas that do not have easy access to healthcare. YOUR support enables children like Haneen to become strong and healthy once again by helping provide access to quality healthcare, free of charge every single day!
Launching Medical Points in Ukraine
In March, Dr. Monzer Yazji, co-founder of UOSSM/UOSSM USA, took a second trip to Ukraine to launch the UOSSM Ukraine office and the medical points to help support Ukrainians affected by the war. Dr. Yazji stated ”We formed a network of volunteer doctors from different specialties and conducted a training for them. We are seeing around 60 patients a day at one medical point located in a church. Tomorrow, the number is expected to jump to 300 patients per day, as other local churches will be sending patients here to this medical point!”
On his first trip, Dr. Yazji had met with other international NGOs and local officials to assess the situation, establish the UOSSM Ukraine office, and provide medical relief. You can read about the first medical mission here and about the parallels between the Syrian and Ukrainian crises here.
UOSSM was founded in 2012, in response to the crisis in Syria to help provide emergency humanitarian relief, medical care and relief and train those on the ground to handle war wounds, chemical attacks and other war related injuries and is now in Ukraine to provide the same type of support and services to Ukrainians affected by the war. You can support our work in Ukraine by clicking here.
Distributing Food Baskets to Muslim families in Cincinnati during Ramadan
Islamic Relief USA awarded a grant to UOSSM USA for the distribution of food baskets to needy families in the Cincinnati area during Ramadan. The baskets will be distributed in partnership with the Islamic Association of Cincinnati – Clifton Mosque, which has a food pantry that runs year round.
Training on Malnutrition in Syria
Malnutrition continues to be a dangerous problem affecting needy and displaced families in northwest Syria. Training staff on handling malnutrition within the community is vital.
UOSSM, in cooperation with the European Union, provided “Community Management of Acute Malnutrition” training (recently updated by UNICEF and the nutrition sector) to health staff in March.
This hybrid workshop, which was held over seven days, provided in-person training to 96 participants in Sarmada and Idlib and online training to 13 participants.
Providing Over 1,400 Dialysis Sessions a Month
The Ibn Sina Dialysis Center in Idlib continues to provide dialysis to patients with end-stage renal failure. Each patient receives at least two dialysis sessions per week. With 26 dialysis machines, it is the main and largest dialysis center in northern Syria dedicated to treating 170 patients out of the 600 registered patients in the region.
The Dialysis Center has been divided into three sections to ensure that high quality services are provided in a safe manner. One section has been allocated to patients who do not suffer from any infections; the second section is devoted to patients with hepatitis; and the third section has been allocated to patients with COVID-19 (the center is fully equipped with personal protective equipment and prevention and control means).
Over the past 8 months, the number of dialysis sessions in the Ibn Sina Dialysis Center increased by 30% – from 1,100 sessions in July 2021 to 1,450 in March 2022.
Supporting Health Integrated Resilience (HIRS) Project
UOSSM Canada will be supporting the Health Integrated Resilience (HIRS) project in northern Syria from April to August 2022.
The operating phase aims to train doctors and nurses to use the HIRS telemedicine platform by hiring telemedicine technical assistants from three health facilities (selected specialties: mental health, pediatrics, and Intensive Care Unit). This platform will be developed using feedback from service providers and volunteer consultants as end-users.The HIRS telemedicine platform will help reduce the burden on service providers and ensure that the best services are provided to patients who have received medical consultations by volunteer physicians from all over the world. In addition, this will increase the technical competencies of service providers in Syria for managing similar critical cases in the future.
An added value will be achieved during the operational phase through the formation of a technical medical committee to develop policies, procedures, and all things related to the telemedicine program.
Participating in “Health in Conflict” Conference at Cambridge University
On March 21st-22nd, UOSSM participated in the “Health in Conflict” Conference held at Cambridge University. The main topic of discussion was assessing research and policies for populations affected by conflict and humanitarian crises in the Middle East and North Africa. The conference was organized by the Research for Health in Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (R4HC-MENA) project.
After Years of War Syrian Doctors Lead Medical Mission in Ukraine
Dr. Monzer Yazji, co-founder of UOSSM and UOSSM USA, is leading a medical mission in Ukraine to provide medical and humanitarian relief to those affected by the war. UOSSM has gained invaluable expertise due to its role in the Syrian crisis since 2012 and will leverage this to provide the people of Ukraine with medical relief, support, and training in response methods.
The medical mission team visited with officials, leaders, and agencies on the ground to assess the situation for gaps/shortages in medicines, medical supplies, training needs (such as treating war wounds) and other humanitarian shortages.
UOSSM has already opened a field office which is operating a humanitarian relief station in Lviv for food and necessities as well as a medical point in Lutsk. UOSSM is also working to set up a field medical facility in Kiev. Dr. Monzer Yazji, a Syrian American doctor who has also been on the ground in Syria several times over the past 11 years has been triaging and providing medical relief and care to around 300 wounded or sick patients, stabilizing them, and providing medications at the urgent care clinic in Lutsk.
Dr. Yazji stated, “I have been watching the crisis of Ukraine from day one. History is repeating itself as I am seeing similar attacks and suffering that our people went through. I couldn’t sit back and watch the suffering of the Ukrainian people when we have learned so much from our work in Syria. I felt the duty to share our experience and help alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people. This is why we are starting our medical mission in Ukraine. This is our vision, mission and promise, to help everyone suffering in the world.”
If you would like to support our work in Ukraine, please click here.
Helping Abd Al Rahman Walk Again After Debilitating Injury
15 year old Abd Al Rahman Alahmad exclaimed, “I can’t feel my feet dad!” when he came out of a coma and found both of his feet in casts.
Abd Al Rahman had been filling the water tanks on his home’s rooftop when he fell from nearly 23 feet high. He was immediately taken to the hospital for emergency care.
Once his condition was stabilized, Abd Al Rahman was discharged from the hospital. He was then admitted to the Bab Al Hawa Rehabilitation Center for physiotherapy to help strengthen his left foot after developing foot drop resulting from his fractures.
The physiotherapy team welcomed Abd Al Rahman and gave his family hope that he would make a full recovery. After several physical therapy sessions, he began to move his injured foot. As Abd Al Rahman improved, so did his entire family’s mental health, since they had been left feeling helpless watching their son suffer for months on end.
Abd Al Rahman is now slowly returning to walking and will continue to follow up with our team until he makes a full recovery.
Thanks to your support, we have given the promise of a new day to countless patients and their families! Together, we are saving lives and building hope.
Continuing Mental Health Services in Northern Aleppo
There continues to be gap in healthcare access for northern Syrians. UOSSM is working to address this gap by providing mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) at the Al Bab Mental Health Hospital in northern Aleppo.
This hospital provides care for advanced cases of mental health disorders and patients who are considered a danger to themselves and also provides other complementary psychosocial (PSS) services and activities.
In addition to providing multidisciplinary mental health services through the outpatient unit, Mental Health Gap Action Programs (MhGAP) services, and other complementary non-specialized MHPSS are provided to patients under the supervision of a psychiatrist, MhGap, and other mental health and psychosocial support professionals.
Strengthening Capacity of Reproductive Health Services in Northern Syria
UOSSM is contributing to the capacity-building of reproductive health services in northern Syria by providing special training in coordination with the UNFPA and other medical organizations. Strengthening the medical sector in northern Syria will help reduce disease and death rates among pregnant women and newborns.
The specialty training includes family planning, clinical management of rape survivors, and reproductive health protocols. It targets 76 trainees (midwives) from 18 medical organizations across 3 training centers: Azaz, Idlib, and Sarmada.
The family planning and clinical management trainings for rape survivors were completed in February. The remaining training sessions are expected to be completed by mid-March.
In 2020 UOSSM provided:
– medical services to almost 1 million people in Syria and Turkey
– primary health care services to over 582,000 people
– nutrition services focused on women and children to over 281,000 beneficiaries
– care to over 34,000 people through our mental health and psychosocial support program
Your Support Helped Save We’am’s Life!
One minute, We’am was a healthy 3-year old girl – the next minute she could not breathe and became blue in the face. The little girl could not get enough oxygen and was in critical condition! She was rushed to the pediatric intensive care unit at Abeen Samaan Hospital where she was admitted. The medical staff administered lifesaving medical treatment including oxygen and placed her on a nebulizer to help her breathe. The next few hours were critical, but the medical team did not give up. After what seemed like an eternity to her parents, We’am finally began improving. She was released after four days and made a full recovery. We’am is followed up on a regular basis to make sure that she has no relapses and that her health continues to improve.
YOUR support gives countless children like We’am access to lifesaving medical care.
Commemorating 10 Years of Service to the Syrian People
On January 7, 2022, UOSSM commemorated 10 years of service to the Syrian people, crossing the most impossible obstacles, in the most difficult of circumstances – surviving airstrikes and bombings while also losing some colleagues along the way.
It has been a long and painful path as we mark the 10th anniversary of service to the Syrian people living in the most dire circumstances. From bloodshed and injuries to malnutrition and medical needs, we have been there together, supporting our fellow Syrians, showing them that we care. We would like to thank all the selfless heroes that contributed and joined us on this path to help alleviate the unimaginable suffering of those affected by the Syrian war. Thank you to our donors and partners for your trust and support. We thank you for enabling us to continue saving lives together and building hope.
As we embark on our next 10 years of service, we will continue on this path of sacrifice and giving to provide services to those in need, ensuring that they are delivered with the utmost dignity and respect. Our commitment to provide the best quality medical care, emergency humanitarian relief and support to those affected by the Syrian crisis endures.
Click here to watch our video!
Helping Displaced Families this Winter
The winter season continues to bring harsh conditions to the millions of displaced Syrians living in displacement and refugee camps. A major winter storm system dumped several inches of snow on their fragile tents, causing them to collapse in the middle of the night and leaving many families homeless yet again. Although tents are meant to be temporary shelter, many of these families have been living in these dire conditions for 10 years. Watch this video to see how they suffered from that the recent winter storm.
But YOU can still help. With YOUR support, we can distribute even more winterization kits which include tents, blankets, food essentials and hygiene kits to displaced families in Syria and Jordan. Click here if you would like to support these families this winter!
Together, we can help alleviate their suffering.
Continuing to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic
UOSSM continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting three COVID Community Treatment Centers (CCTCs) in northwest Syria – in the areas of Sarmada, Dana, and Armanaz.
The centers will provide services for treating mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 and aim to address the gap in response in northwest Syria (Idlib Governorate/Harem). The CCTCs will help reduce morbidity and mortality rates among internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities. The primary focus of these centers are the most vulnerable groups in conflict-affected areas.
Sustaining Services of Expanded Immunization Program
The Syria Immunization Group (SIG), in close cooperation with the WHO, UNICEF, other NGOs/INGOs and actors in northern Syria, is planning to sustain services of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in northern Syria. EPI was stopped for five years from 2012-2016, due to the war but then relaunched in 2017.
The routine immunization program targets children under the age of one with the following antigens: BCG, Hep B 0, OPV, IPV, Penta, MMR, and school-age children (first and sixth grades), and females of childbearing age (age 15-49), especially pregnant women, with the Td vaccine. In this context, UOSSM aims to maintain collaboration with the WHO to be responsible for the financial management of this project.
Tag us #uossmusa
UOSSM USA IS A FEDERALLY TAX-EXEMPT NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) CHARITABLE HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION. TAX ID 47-3403988