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.
How YOU can help!
If you have any questions, please contact us at: email@example.com
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.
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.
Together, we are saving lives and building hope.
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.
You Can Help Rebuild a Family Connection!
Many Syrian children lost any semblance of a childhood as a result of the Syrian crisis. Young boys pulled out of school to help provide for their families, while young girls were forced into marriage to lessen the burden on their families.
Amal is one such child. She was forced to get married at the age of 14 to ease her family’s burden. But, still a child herself, Amal was unable to handle the responsibilities that came along with marriage especially, that of becoming a young mother. Just a few months into her pregnancy, Amal’s husband passed away. She was left with the burden of raising a child on her own.
Amal would cry when her baby son would cry, and she would often leave him crying in her tent in hopes he would get tired and fall asleep. Sadly, all of this had a negative impact on her son.
When Amal’s son began wetting his bed at night and displayed symptoms of anxiety, she decided to get help. Amal heard about UOSSM’s Ahlan Sesame project and decided to attend support sessions. After a few sessions, Amal began to understand the importance of the first few years of a child’s life and how it can have an effect on the child’s ability to show affection. By allowing her child to play and have fun, Amal was now helping him develop in a variety of ways – emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically. This helped her foster a broken connection between her and her child, reducing his anxiety and improving their overall relationship.
There are many other families – like Amal’s – who have been negatively affected by the Syrian war. Through YOUR gift, we can help bring stability to innocent children, enhance their mental and physical well-being, and improve the family’s overall connection despite the traumas they have faced.
Together, we truly are saving lives and building hope.
The winter season has been harsh on the millions of displaced Syrians who are living in displacement and refugee camps. As they battle the forces of Mother Nature, they are huddled up in their fragile, make-shift tents, trying to find warmth. As the cases of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the positivity rate in the camps has risen to a 55%. With the mounting hunger and exhaustion, there is an overwhelming need to protect these Syrian families (75% of whom are women and children) from the ravages of the cold, wet winter.
First Electric Vehicle for Health System in Syria
UOSSM rolled out its first electric vehicle in northern Syria. The vehicle will be used primarily for health services including patient transport and vaccine transport between storage facilities and primary healthcare facilities.
The 100% electric vehicle (EV) uses a lithium battery charged at health facilities powered by solar energy. The EV is expected to result in significant savings in the long term by reducing reliance on fuel, making the health system more strengthened and localized.
The deployment of the electric vehicle is part of a broader project called the Health Integrated Resilience System (HIRS), and an extension of the “Syria Solar Initiative (SSI)” pioneered by UOSSM’s technical team focused on health system resilience. This pilot project is funded by Creating Hope in Conflict: a Humanitarian Grand Challenge (HGC). The HIRS project aims to combine electric mobility, solar power, and telemedicine to increase cross-dimensional resilience for the health system and to deliver critical services in the most challenging war zones.
Currently, UOSSM technical teams are evaluating this project. It is anticipated that the EV may transform future operations of health services in areas of crisis and war throughout the world – especially in light of the urgency to meet the climate goals for deep decarbonization.
Providing Training through Al Hikma Hospital
The Syrian Board of Medical Specialties (SBOMS) formally announced the use of Al Hikma Hospital as a training center. Supported by UOSSM, this hospital will be used to provide training for treating diseases of the eye and eye surgery for resident doctors in northern Syria.
Your Gift Helps Put Smiles on Their Faces
Winter is upon us, ushering in a season of even harsher conditions for millions (and counting) of displaced Syrians and refugees in Jordan. These Syrian families, huddled up in their fragile, make-shift tents, are now battling the forces of Mother Nature in addition to that of the global pandemic. Sadly, COVID-19 cases in the camps have risen to a 55% positivity rate. As the hunger and exhaustion mounts, there is an overwhelming need to protect these Syrian families (75% of whom are women and children) from the ravages of the cold, wet winter.
We are distributing 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!
Growing Need for Tele-Mental Health Services
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the growing need for telemedicine services, particularly those of tele-mental health.
In the past year alone, a medical team of 4 mental health workers led by a psychiatrist, provided more than 1,025 tele-mental health sessions to over 310 patients in northern Syria.
Tele-health services are vital to help patients in hard-to-reach areas, or who are unable to reach medical services, receive the care they need. With your support, UOSSM aims to ensure that everyone has access to those medical services.
Expanded Program on Immunization in Northern Syria – UPDATE
The Syria Immunization Group (SIG), in close cooperation with WHO, UNICEF, and other NGOs on the ground in northern Syria, plan to sustain services of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). This program was halted for five years between 2012-2016 due to the war and was launched again in 2017.
The routine immunization program targets children under the age of one with the following antigens: BCG, Hep B 0, OPV, IPV, Penta, and MMR, school age children (first through sixth grade), females in childbearing age (CBA) (15-49) with the TD vaccine, especially for pregnant women.
UOSSM aims to maintain this collaboration with WHO to help with the costs of covering the routine immunization program (in 4 centers) and waste management (for all 93 vaccination centers).
Ending Violence Against Women
1 in 3 women is exposed to violence at least once in their lifetimes. During times of crisis such as, war, displacement, and even the COVID-19 pandemic, those numbers rise even more.
The UOSSM protection team collaborated with the WGSS Center in Dayr Hassan to promote this campaign and raise awareness. Topics focused on social violence such as emotional abuse, physical abuse, social stigma, and childhood marriage. In addition, accomplishments, and success stories, from women that escaped violence were shared.
Copyright © *2021* *UOSSM USA, All rights reserved.
Your Gift is Helping Displaced Families Cope with Stressful Situations
In 2018, Bilal and his family were forced to flee their home, leaving behind their small village in the countryside of Idlib. By the time they arrived at the Dayr Hassan displacement camp, 6-year-old Bilal began acting out. He would get bored quickly and became aggressive, often hitting his siblings. This would cause stress for Bilal’s mother who was left to care for him alone while her husband was away at work, trying to provide for the family. Desperate for help, Bilal’s mother took her son to the Welcome Sesame center in Dayr Hassan so their home life would not spiral out of control.
During the course of six therapy sessions, Bial’s mother was given strategies for coping with stress as well as several techniques for handling Bilal’s outbursts. She was encouraged to focus more on his positive behavior rather than the negative.
In the first session, Bilal would constantly interrupt the facilitator because he did not like the activities. But through positive reinforcement and encouragement, Bilal began to follow instructions and successfully complete tasks during the sessions. Before, Bilal would complain that his friends did not like to play with him and called him a troublemaker. But after the sessions, his friends started to play with him. This made Bilal so happy!
Bilal’s mother also noticed major improvements as he became calmer and patient, no longer stressing her out.
For many displaced families, the uncertainty of their “new” situation can be incredibly stressful not only for the adults but also for the children. These sessions are helping families and their children.Through your generous contribution to support programs such as Welcome Sesame, you can help young children just like Bilal to cope and heal so that they can later thrive!
First Telemedicine Consultations Begin in Northwest Syria
On October 20th, the first pediatric telemedicine consultations began in the Al-Ekhaa Hospital in northwest Syria, in partnership with Syrian Expatriates Medical Association (SEMA). 19 doctors are expected to volunteer and use the HIRS Telemedicine Platform.
Supported by the Humanitarian Grand Challenges Organization, this initiative will reduce caseloads, and increase shared expertise among program users in an effort to help save lives.
This program will be implemented in three different types of medical centers in northwest Syria: mental health, pediatrics, and critical care.
To learn more about the telemedicine program please visit: https://www.hirs-tm.org/
VAC (Pragma VAC) Dressing Distributed in Northwest Syria
Pragma VAC wound dressing is a low cost, simple way to treat wounded patients who are unable to reach health services due to the humanitarian crisis.
Since 2011, this dressing has helped save many lives, allowing those who are injured to dress their own wounds, even in hard-to-reach areas. The standard of care for such cases is usually Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) but due to its high cost and limited access in poor and vulnerable areas, this manual NPWT device is a great low-cost alternative that helps those wounded treat their injuries in their home. However, this dressing is not intended for non-traumatic open wounds resulting from chronic diseases.
UOSSM Celebrates World Mental Health Day
On October 10th, the mental health support team in Bahoori Center, in collaboration with Shafaq Organization, celebrated World Mental Health Day by providing fun activities for children and adolescents. They also watched a play that explored COVID-19 and the psychological stress it is imposing on people.
UOSSM Participates in Health Information System Workshop
A workshop was offered on October 21-22 in partnership with HIS (Health Information System). Several nonprofit organizations operating in the health sector participated in the workshop including, the World Health Organization (WHO).
The workshop shared accomplishments by HIS in previous years establishing a unified electronic database to gather routine medical data including deaths and illnesses reported by medical facilities in northwest Syria.
The data was then analyzed to show healthcare gaps according to WHO standards. The workshop also focused on strengthening coordination efforts and exploring challenges and solutions for implementing this system as well as potential tools and research to help further develop and advance this project.
– medical services to almost 1 million people in Syria and Turkey
– primary health care services to over 582,000 people
– protection services to over 55,000 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
– health care services to over 1 million patients at Bab Al Hawa Hospital through the end of 2019
Walking on Sunshine
Mariam was only 10 years old when she got sick and lost the ability to walk. She wasn’t able to bend her elbows or arms and couldn’t even eat on her own, so she was completely dependent on others. Although she had limited knee movement, Mariam would place pieces of iron on her knees to help her move around.
For the next 14 years, doctors told Mariam she wasn’t able to have surgery to repair her condition. But that all changed when Mariam, at the age of 24,consulted with Dr. Muhammad Al Omar, an orthopedic surgeon. He advised Mariam to undergo surgery followed by extensive physiotherapy. After several months of therapy, Mariam slowly regained movement in her legs and left arm. She was finally able to take her first steps in an upright position, and even go up and down the stairs on her own.
Thanks to YOUR gift, Mariam is now all smiles – proud of her progress and excited that she can walk once again!
Agreement Signed to Implement Telemedicine Program in Northern Syria
Due to the shortage of doctors and medical staff in northwest Syria, the medical sector had to come up with innovative ways to meet the gap.
On September 3, 2021, UOSSM signed an agreement with SEMA and Hand in Hand for aid and development (HIHFAD) to implement a telemedicine program. As part of the Health Integrated Resilience System (HIRS), this program enables patients to receive specialized medical care remotely and includes medical services such as consultations, basic care, and follow up. Specialty doctors offering care through the telemedicine program include psychological, pediatric, and intensive care.
Supported by the Humanitarian Grand Challenge, this is the first beta program of its kind in northwest Syria.
Ongoing Psychological Support Through UOSSM Helpline in Northwest Syria
In response to the alarming escalation of COVID-19 cases in northwest Syria, UOSSM continues to provide psychological support through its helpline.
Led by a psychiatrist, a team of 4 psychosocial support workers (PSWs) provide teleservices consultations to callers from Turkey and the Euphrates region (to include the districts of Al Bab, Jarablus, and Afrin). This project is made possible thanks to the support of WHO.
Polio Vaccination Campaigns Continue in Northern Syria
In response to a polio outbreak in northern Syria dating back to 2014, UOSSM has been conducting polio vaccine campaigns each year. However, to maintain the achieved immunity level in children, and raise immunity among adults and internally displaced persons (IDPs) it is critical to relaunch these campaigns against the polio virus (types 1 and 3).
In collaboration with Syria Immunization Group (SIG), and the technical support and supervision of WHO and UNICEF, UOSSM plans to implement the latest polio vaccination campaign in northwest Syria targeting children under the age of five.
– over 281,000 beneficiaries with nutrition services focused on women and children
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UOSSM USA IS A FEDERALLY TAX-EXEMPT NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) CHARITABLE HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION. TAX ID 47-3403988