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The devastating earthquake affected the people of northwest Syria in many ways. Since the earthquake on Feb. 6, there are 450 cancer patients waiting to enter Turkey to receive cancer treatment. Most of the patients need radiotherapy sessions which is not available at all in northwest Syria. The rest of the patients need chemotherapy, which may be available in northwest Syria, but at a very high cost. These services are provided free of charge in Turkey.

The video above is 8 year old Taym as he tells his story of struggling with cancer.

The health situation in northwest Syria has been deteriorating for years, due to the war, lack of essential needs, and exposure to various types of chemicals and carcinogens from weapons, which has led to various outbreaks and diseases, and a high rise in cancer and incurable diseases. These factors are all causing a high percentage of deaths among cancer patients.

Currently, there are three specialized oncology centers in northwest Syria. These centers provide free consultations in addition to some simple medical procedures. This varies based on availability of the medicines and capability to provide services. Cancer patients suffer from the high cost of chemical medicines and some procedures that may require accommodation in private hospitals to take doses,  receive intensive care, etc. Many times the family cannot afford the high costs.

Currently, there are 4300 active cancer cases in northwest Syria.

The most common cancers are breast cancer – 13%, lung cancer – 11%, blood cancer – 10%, colorectal cancer – 7%, prostate cancer – 6%, stomach cancer – 4%.

More than 15% of those patients are children suffering from blood cancer.

The major cause of death for these cancer patients is the inability to access expensive medicines and treatment.
You can click here to support cancer patients in northwest Syria.



Nour is only 2 1/2 years old. She has had to endure so much in her young life. On February 6, her whole world changed. The devastating earthquake not only killed her mother and 5 year old brother, but she was critically injured. She remained buried under the rubble for 60 hours until she was finally saved.

Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Nour had to have her right leg amputated. Her injuries were critical, as she suffers from crush syndrome, which caused her to lose a lot of tissue in her bottom. She has had to endure excruciating pain over the past two months. She had several surgeries, including reconstructive surgery, along with other treatment to help save her life. She has to be sedated to change the bandaging and dressing on her wounds. She has been receiving care at Aqrabat Hospital for over two months.

Nour and her family were a displaced family in Jandaris. They already had to endure so much pain from forced displacement. Now Nour must learn to live without her mother and brother, and learn to walk with the aid of a prosthetic limb.

There are so many children like Nour. Many children receiving care at our hospitals became orphans in a matter of minutes, many are suffering from terrible injuries. Many are traumatized…

The earthquake added a crisis on top of an already existing humanitarian crisis in the region. The need continues to be so great.

There are now 4.5 million people in northwest Syria, of which 4.1 million people are in need. They continue to suffer every single day… 

You can support our earthquake relief efforts by clicking here.


UOSSM’s response to the earthquake in Syria and Turkey was immediate, due to the existing framework and operations in northwest Syria since 2012. With over 1800 staff on the ground, our team has been working tirelessly, for almost two months, despite all the pain and heartache, to alleviate the suffering and help heal and save lives of earthquake victims. Many of UOSSM’s staff found themselves as victims but continued to push and help save lives.

Some injuries of earthquake victims are minor, but many are complicated causing lives to be lost, limbs to be amputated, and recovery to be extremely difficult. The earthquake left many children without families, changing countless lives forever. Even cancer patients are having difficulty accessing crucial medical care in Turkey, leaving innocent lives to battle the horrible disease with little relief.

UOSSM proudly has  provided 80,265 consultations to 51,373 patients, provided 1172 major surgeries and 191 minor surgeries, along with other vital services such as diagnostics, dialysis, and blood unit distribution through our 30 hospitals and health facilities, 10 mobile clinics, and 62 ambulances since February 6.

At least 50,000 were killed, hundreds of  thousands were injured, and thousands upon thousands were displaced, many for a second, third, or even fourth time.

There is still so much to do. Please support our work as we continue to provide the victims with the care and humanitarian relief they deserve.

On March 1, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited northwest Syria following the devastating earthquakes that hit northern Syria and southern Turkey on February 6, to evaluate the situation assessing area hospitals including UOSSM’s Aqrabat Hospital. In addition, the Director met with UOSSM’s Country Director, Dr. Daher Zedan, to better understand current medical needs in northwest Syria, and to coordinate a future response plan. The WHO team also met with the Idlib Health Directorate and representatives of other humanitarian organizations on the ground as they discussed the difficulties the health sector faced  with the catastrophic earthquake, needs to support the medical sector, and planning a coordinated response in the near future.

Dr Tedros said at a media briefing following the visits,”WHO is playing our role in supporting the Syrian people, who have responded incredibly with the little that they have. WHO has been delivering essential medicines, supplies, and equipment for years, as well as on the day the earthquakes struck. And we will do more. But the people of northwest Syria need the assistance of the international community to recover and rebuild. Even before the earthquake, more than 90% of the Syrian people were living below the poverty line…I call on the international community – governments, philanthropies and individuals – to dig deep to lift up those who are enduring unimaginable loss, poverty and deprivation.”

Yasmeen is 4 years old. She was severely injured in the earthquake in the Jandaris area in northwest Syria. She was rushed to Aqrabat Hospital where she received immediate emergency care for her injuries. She had to have emergency surgery to repair her broken metatarsal bones in the foot by inserting rods. Doctors also investigated the dead tissue that resulted from the crush injuries. The surgery was a success.

Yasmeen has been in the hospital receiving the medical care she needs to make a full recovery. Many of the staff love her sweet personality and she trusted them to care for her and change her bandages. Her health continues to improve. She especially developed a connection with one of her caregivers Abd Al Jawad, who helped her with her pain both physically and emotionally.

We thank all our staff who have been working tirelessly to help save lives, minutes after the earthquake, despite being in terrible situations themselves including the loss of loved ones, injuries, and becoming displaced.
Together, we will continue to save lives and build hope.

You can continue to support our earthquake relief efforts by donating here.

UOSSM’s response to the earthquake in northwest Syria was immediate, due to the existing framework and operations in since 2012. With over 1800 staff on the ground, our team has been working tirelessly, despite all the pain and heartache, loss and displacement, being victims themselves, to alleviate the suffering and help heal and save lives of earthquake victims.
Between Feb 6-Feb 27, UOSSM has provided 50,299 consultations to 34,348 patients, provided 878 major surgeries and 184 minor surgeries, along with other vital services such as diagnostics, dialysis, and blood unit distribution through our 30 hospitals and health facilities, 10 mobile clinics, and 62 ambulances. You can click here to support our earthquake relief efforts and help save lives!
The need is so great, the destruction and devastation is overwhelming, but together, we can continue to save lives and build hope.
Our co-founder, Dr. Monzer H Yazji, went to Turkey and Syria on a medical mission to help support staff and victims both physically and mentally.
On the first two days he stayed in Turkey, meeting with Turkish government officials to see how UOSSM could support staff on the ground there, and how to coordinate response efforts in Syria. He also discussed with officials deploying a team from UOSSM doctors around the world to work in the field hospital created by the Emirates government. In addition he was on the ground in Hatay, to see where he could support local teams on the ground there.

Dr. Yazji then went to Syria for two days on a medical mission to witness the damage, assess UOSSM’s response and needs,  evaluate hospitals and medical facilities, and provide medical care, and victim support  in northwest Syria.

On his first day there, Dr. Yazji, along with a team from UOSSM, including Country Director, Dr. Daher Zedan, visited the hardest hit area of Jandaris. The team visited the Afreen hospital, the local health council of Jandaris, and the mobile clinic operating in the emergency shelter area. In the mobile clinic Dr. Yazji provided medical care to earthquake victims who were newly displaced. Towards the end of the first day, Dr. Yazji and the UOSSM team visited UOSSM’s Aqrabat Hospital, where they assessed the hospital to ensure everything is running smoothly, evaluated needs, and met and spent time with patients who were victims of the earthquake.

On the second day, Dr. Yazji and a team of UOSSM representatives visited with the director of the Idlib Health Directorate, Dr. Zuhair AlQarrat to discuss response and coordination efforts in the area. Next, the team visited UOSSM’s Diagnostic Lab, the UOSSM Dialysis Center, the Al Hikma Specialty Hospital, and the Andalusia Surgical Hospital to evaluate the facilities, know needs and shortages, and meet with and provide support to doctors and staff.
Dr. Yazji participated in some surgeries of earthquake victims to share his knowledge and expertise.

You can watch a video here of one of the surgeries Dr. Yazji participated in.

Edinburg, TX – Just two weeks after the catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, two more earthquakes with 6.4 and 5.8 magnitudes just shook the region, terrifying people once again. UOSSM initial reports show at least 94 injuries and several collapsed buildings in northwest Syria. Most of the injuries are a result of people panicking, many are even jumping from buildings. Those numbers could continue to rise as the earthquake hit at night. Initial reports in Turkey indicate at least three deaths and over 123 injuries, those numbers are expected to rise as well. The region has been experiencing hundreds of aftershocks since the initial earthquake. UOSSM staff are already receiving and treating victims.

The earthquake on February 6 has killed at least 46,000 people, injured tens of thousands, displaced hundreds of thousands, and caused the collapse of thousands of buildings in Turkey and Syria. Many more buildings could collapse after these earthquakes as a result of weakened foundations and structures from the previous earthquake and aftershocks.

UOSSM has been on the ground since the earthquake hit providing emergency medical care to the victims through its hospitals and healthcare facilities, medical and mental health care services through its mobile clinics integrated with mental health, and transported and referred victims as needed in the hardest hit areas.

In addition, through our local partners on the ground, we have helped with rescue and recovery, provided shelter, food, clothes, and non-food items.

The state on the ground is in dire need of immediate and increased global, humanitarian support to allow local humanitarian actors to deliver essential assistance. Currently, three crossing points are authorized for humanitarian aid between Turkey and Syria. Collective solidarity is needed to ensure an immediate and effective response in the upcoming weeks and months ahead.

Dr. Anas Alkassem, Co-founder and Vice Chairman of UOSSM Canada was already on the ground in a medical mission in Syria. As he was visiting Aqrabat Hospital the earthquakes hit saying in a live video, “We are at the Aqrabat hospital at the moment, we felt the terrible shock, a quake that brought fear to all patients and staff. All staff and patients are safe, yet we had to evacuate patients including children to the outdoor space. We hope there will be no injuries and casualties, yet we are waiting, prepared, and ready to receive cases.” You can watch his video here.

Dr. Khaula Sawah, President of UOSSM USA said, “Our hearts go out to the people of Syria and Turkey who have been living in a constant state of fear, panic, and heartbreak since February 6. We call on the international community to remember that these people have been affected both physically and mentally and will need support from the world as they try to heal and rebuild. We pray for the safety of everyone in both countries, this is so tragic.”

Destruction from first earthquake on February 6 in northwest Syria.
Destruction from first earthquake on February 6 in northwest Syria.
UOSSM Mobile clinics providing immediate medical services to earthquake victims.
UOSSM doctors operating on earthquake victims.
UOSSM doctors operating on earthquake victims.

The devastating earthquake that caused catastrophic damage in Turkey and Syria on February 6, has killed over 42,000 people, tens of thousands have been injured, and thousands upon thousands have been displaced. Sadly, the death toll continues to rise. There is little hope to find any more survivors, but every day, we do hear of miracle stories of survival.

In northwest Syria,  our hospitals and medical facilities have been overwhelmed with the massive influx of patients in need of urgent medical care. Many of those victims are suffering from Crush Syndrome after being pulled from under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Years of war and bombings, COVID-19, and the Cholera outbreak, already has pushed the medical sector to its limits. The earthquake added a humanitarian crisis on top of the already existing humanitarian crisis. The situation is dire. There is a shortage of doctors and staff, medical equipment, medical consumables and medicines.

We immediately deployed additional mobile clinics, integrated with medical and mental health care to victims of the hardest hit areas of destruction, like Jandaris. Currently, we are operating 10 mobile clinics, 30 health facilities, and 62 ambulances. Between February 6 and February 15, we provided 15,273 patients with 19,845 consultations, provided 528 major surgeries, and 128 minor surgeries.

In addition, through our local partners Hathi Hayati, on the ground, we have helped with rescue and recovery, provided shelter, food, clothes, food and non food items.







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