We support hospitals in Syria to provide necessary emergency medical relief and healthcare to affected Syrian people.
For over nine years, millions of Syrians were wounded, killed, displaced from their homes, or fled the country seeking refuge in neighboring countries and other countries around the world. Hospitals, healthcare providers, and medical facilities were targeted and came under systematic attacks. Many hospitals and medical facilities were destroyed. Doctors and healthcare workers were targeted, killed, or fled the country, leaving a massive shortage of healthcare providers throughout Syria. This led to the destruction of the public health and healthcare system, leaving millions of civilians within Syria with little to no access to medical and healthcare.
UOSSM has been supporting the healthcare system throughout Syria since early 2012, working closely with local communities focusing on the most vulnerable, particularly women and children, local health directorates, and national and international organizations.
UOSSM has provided lifesaving humanitarian aid, medical relief, and specialized health care to millions of people in need, supported field hospitals across Syria, including besieged and hard-to-reach areas, provided medical supplies and equipment, supported the salaries of doctors and healthcare workers, and supported the ambulance and referral system (EMT).
UOSSM has trained tens of thousands of doctors and healthcare workers, primarily at its specialized training center in northern Syria, to address the growing need and gap in qualified healthcare providers. In addition, UOSSM has established and operated Bab Al-Hawa Rehabilitation Center since 2013 and supports rehabilitation centers in the region. Rehabilitation centers help those suffering from physical weakness or disabilities by providing physical and medical specialized care, increasing independence and the individual’s ability to positively contribute to society.
UOSSM has led the way by taking new initiatives to find constantly evolving solutions for the growing needs and medical crisis in Syria. One of UOSSM’s major initiatives is the establishment and operation of Bab Al-Hawa Hospital in 2012, which is considered the referral emergency and specialty hospital in northern Syria, and the establishment of the most advanced training center in the northwest region.
In addition, UOSSM launched the solar system initiative at UOSSM Bab Al-Hawa Hospital in 2017 and was later implemented at Aqrabat Hospital in northern Syria as well.
One of UOSSM’s major initiatives is the establishment of Bab Al-Hawa Hospital (BHH) in late 2012. Bab Al-Hawa Hospital is a major emergency and specialty hospital in northern Syria and is considered the “Referral Hospital” in the northwest region, because of its relative safety and proximity to the Turkish border and is recognized by local Turkish authorities as the referral facility for Syrian patients who require advanced interventions at Turkish hospitals, in addition to, the extensive specialized services and complex clinical care it provides. Many of these services are not available at other hospitals in northern Syria.
Pediatric surgery performed at UOSSM Bab Al-Hawa Hospital, Idlib Suburbs, Syria, 2019.
BHH supports a population of over 4 million civilians in the area. With its 9 operating rooms, adult, pediatric, and neonatal Intensive Care Units (ICUs), and 15 specialty outpatient medical clinics, BHH not only has the capacity to provide emergency triage and lifesaving surgeries, but also conducts many specialized and elective surgeries, in addition to outpatient specialty medical services to thousands of people on a monthly basis.
The hospital provides a broad range of specialty medical and surgical services including general, thoracic, vascular, orthopedic, neuro, urologic, ophthalmic, maxillofacial, E.N.T, pediatric surgeries, and medical care, in addition to dialysis, outpatient cardiology, colonoscopy and others. Within BHH lies the largest advanced blood bank in the area, producing 1000 blood bags, with different blood components, per month to hospitals and medical points in the region. In 2019, BHH conducted an average of 900 major surgeries and provided medical services to 18,000-19,000 patients per month.
The ED provides triage, trauma care, emergency surgical operations and procedures. The emergency department consists of 2 emergency operating rooms, a fully equipped emergency room that contains 8 regular beds, with the capacity to accommodate over 20 patients in cases of mass trauma, providing around the clock, emergency services to patients. The emergency department at BHH is considered the only referral center to Turkish hospitals, for cases that cannot be dealt with at BHH and other hospitals inside Syria.
The Specialized Surgery Department is equipped with 7 operating rooms, offering a wide range of specialized surgeries. Most rare, specialized surgeries are performed in this department, such as, eradication of cancerous tumors, vitrectomy and retinal detachment, repair of congenital defects in children and newborns, neurological surgery, arthroscopic surgery, Whipple operations, esophagus reconstruction and ERCP. The Specialty Department includes the intensive care unit (ICU) of 8 beds, recovery unit, post-op care units of 6 fully equipped beds, and inpatient wards that admit approximately 150 patients per month.
A group of highly experienced medical staff work in this department dealing with various neonatal and pediatric medical conditions. Surgical services are provided to correct congenital malformations in newborns, as well as post-operative care to newborns and children. This department provides a variety of specific surgeries such as congenital malformations repair, oncology procedures, as well as hernial deformations in neonates. The department consists of 7 incubators and 2 artificial ventilators, 13 beds which are used for post-op care, and includes Neonatal and Pediatric ICUs.
The Specialized Outpatient Department is considered one of the most important departments as it combines the provision of specialized non-surgical and medical services. This department contains 15 clinics providing preparation for elective surgeries and a wide range of specialized services, such as general, vascular, orthopedics, neurology, thoracic, pulmonology, urology, nephrology, gastrointestinal, ENT, cardiology, echography, pediatrics, and ophthalmology.
The Specialized Cardiology Department includes a 24-hour urgent care unit treating emergency and regular cardiac cases. It consists of a Cardiology Clinic, Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), and a Cardiac Catherization Lab, in which cardiac catherization procedures and interventions are performed. This department is one of its kind in northern Syria.
The Dialysis Department consists of 2 rooms equipped with 6 dialysis machines which offer urgent and chronic dialysis to patients with acute and advanced kidney failure. The dialysis department assists in reducing the number of referrals for patients with renal failure to Turkey.
The Advanced Blood Bank Department is the most advanced blood bank in northern Syria, which has the capacity to provide different blood components, including packed red blood cell (PRBC) concentrate, platelet concentrate, fresh frozen plasma, and others.
The Inpatient Pharmacy Department provides hospital medications, medical supplies, and consumables, free of charge.
(Radiology, Laboratory, Microbiology, Pathology, EEG, EMG, and others)
Due to its strategic importance, relative safety and proximity to the Turkish Border, many donors and partners had, and continue to have, great interests to support Bab Al-Hawa Hospital, with few donors fully supporting all functions and services provided at the hospital. The King Salman Foundation fully supported BHH for 2 years. Currently, Syrian American Medical Society Foundation is supporting the hospital operations and staff salaries and operations until September 30th of 2021. UOSSM USA will continue seeking future funding opportunities to support the hospital, ensuring the continuation of delivery of exceptional emergency and a wide range of quality specialized services in the northwestern region in Syria.
19 ambulatory vehicles were supported over a large period of time in Afreen and the western, southern, and northern countryside of Aleppo, with medicines, supplies, salaries and operational costs. This enabled the wounded in targeted areas to receive medical secondary and tertiary care, according to each individual need. In addition, the wounded were transported to nearby medical facilities for emergency treatment. The ambulance system also helped with evacuations in besieged areas, including the evacuation of Aleppo in December 2016, in which the civilians were under siege in Aleppo during the harsh cold winter that year.
Ambulances preparing to cover their appointed locations in the Aleppo and Idlib Countrysides, from their starting point in Idlib suburb.
Increasing the resilience of the health system involves enabling major hospitals to strengthen operational sustainability. From an energy perspective in particular, hospital’s dependency on diesel is both dangerous and unsustainable. To help resolve this issue, other sources of energy were piloted at UOSSM’s Bab Al-Hawa Hospital in Northwest Syria.
In spring of 2017, the 480-panel pilot solar power system was installed in the hospital, saving approximately $30,000 in the first year. Beyond the financial savings, the solar panel system can operate when diesel is not available, supplying needed electricity to critical departments in the hospital, such as the emergency and intensive care units.
The Solar System Project launched at Bab Al-Hawa Hospital in 2017:
Upon completing the project successfully, and during the summer of 2017, ‘Syria Solar Initiative’ was launched with the purpose of highlighting the importance of renewable energy for health in Syria, and to scale the renewable energy technology to other hospitals where possible and feasible.
In 2018, UOSSM was among three finalists invited to attend and present their innovative projects in conflict zones, at the 2018 edition of the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City. UOSSM was one of the 23 finalists for the Humanitarian Grand Challenge. The grant will help UOSSM support its innovative project, Health Integrated Resilience System (HIRS), to strengthen the resilience of health systems by integrating solar power, electronic ambulance systems and tele-medicine services, to deliver life-saving aid.
In 2019, UOSSM began installing a solar energy system in the Aqrabat Hospital, with the support of the Idlib Health Directorate. The system is expected to significantly decrease the load on generators and reducing reliance on fuel. The facility is one of the key hospitals in northern Syria and specializes in orthopedics. UOSSM field teams installed the 90 kWp solar photovoltaic system which consisted of: 300 solar photovoltaic panels, 12 inverters, 216 batteries and an advanced data control system. The hospital is expected to save approximately 60,000 liters of diesel fuel per year. This amounts to saving approximately 40-45% of the annual energy cost for the hospital. The system can fully provide uninterrupted electricity for the operating room, emergency department, and other critical services at the hospital during diesel outages.