In response to the Syrian crisis, UOSSM launched its first medical mission and healthcare programs in Syria and Turkey in early 2012. As a leader, expert, and innovator, UOSSM has played an integral role in mental health and healthcare throughout the Syrian crisis. UOSSM established strategic initiatives early on in the crisis, working closely with local communities, the most vulnerable, particularly women and children, and international agencies and organizations; providing healthcare services to millions of people in need.
UOSSM has led the way by taking new initiatives to find constantly evolving solutions for the growing health problems in Syria. One of UOSSM's major initiatives is the strategic establishment and operation of Bab Al-Hawa Hospital, the most advanced referral emergency and specialty hospital in northern Syria.
In addition, UOSSM established the only inpatient acute mental health unit in northern Syria and the first mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) centers, with Tele-Psychiatry support, in Syria and Turkey.
UOSSM’s other initiatives include primary healthcare centers, maternal units, mobile clinics, nutrition, and protection services.
Another major initiative of UOSSM was the establishment of the largest specialized war zone medical training center in Bab Al-Hawa in northern Syria, in response to the urgent need for building the capacity of remaining health workers in the region.
UOSSM has also supported a mental health center for children refugees with special needs in Lebanon, provided medical training to healthcare workers in Yemen, and currently operates, through UOSSM-Canada, a dental clinic in Bangladesh, in response to the Rohingya crisis.
UOSSM Turkey is currently the major service provider of specialized MHPSS services and the only provider of Special Needs Rehabilitation (SNR) services for Syrian children with special needs in Turkey that delivers its services in Arabic. The majority of service providers in mental health provide Psycho-Social Support (PSS) services and only very few service providers have the capacity to deliver basic Mental Health combined with Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS).
In 2020, with the COVID-19 crisis, UOSSM has focused its efforts to protect healthcare providers and the most vulnerable, living in crowded displacement camps, from the threat of COVID-19, while continuing to provide primary health and mental care services along with life-saving aid. UOSSM responded to COVID-19 by, supporting primary health care centers, establishing and operating community-based isolation centers, sterilizing displacement camps, distributing hygiene kits, distributing nutritious food, establishing a distance-learning center, distributing educational materials about COVID-19 in areas of displacement, and providing training on COVID-19 to medical and administrative personnel.
UOSSM’s hallmark programs during the Syrian crisis are the following initiatives:
UOSSM Bab Al-Hawa Hospital in northern Syria in 2012
Specialized Warzone Medical Training Center at Bab Al-Hawa in northern Syria for Health Workers since 2012
Physiotherapy and rehabilitation centers in northern Syria and Turkey since 2012
Urology and bladder rehabilitation center, the only one of its kind in northern Syria
Primary Health Care Centers, Maternity Units, and Mobile Clinics across Syria since 2013
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Centers in Turkey since 2013, and in Syria in early 2014, with Tele-Psychiatry support services
Data Collection and Analysis Initiative (Evidence-based funding) in Syria in 2013
Solar System Initiative at UOSSM Bab Al-Hawa Hospital and Aqrabat Hospital in northern Syria in 2017