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February 2021 Newsletter
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February 2021 Activities and Updates from UOSSM USA

UOSSM Activities

UOSSM Continues to Support Sarmada Mental Health Center Services

UOSSM continues to support the Sarmada Mental Health Center which includes the following services:

  • Acute Inpatient Care: This includes specialized psychiatric interventions, including full assessment, diagnosis, and prescription of the appropriate psychotropic medications.
  • Outpatient Unit: This includes focused, non-specialized interventions, based on MHGAP programs, in addition to referral of acute and serious cases, to the acute inpatient unit.
  • Mental Health Mobile Clinics: Provision of mental health care services via mobile clinics.
  • MHPSS Helpline Service: The help line project targets all Syrians in Northern Syria/Idlib governate who need a psychosocial support (PSS) consultation, especially those who do not have access to such services. Patients will have safe and secure access to mental health consultations with guaranteed confidentiality and privacy. The helpline will be available daily for 12 hours a day.

UOSSM Turkey Continues to Provide Mental Health Care and Physical Rehabilitation to Syrian Refugees

UOSSM Turkey continues to provide mental health care and psychosocial support services and physical rehabilitation to Syrian refugees, free of charge, in their native Arabic language. UOSSM Turkey has centers distributed throughout Turkey in Gaziantep, Reyhanli, Istanbul, Ankara, and Kilis.

UOSSM Provides Personal Protective Equipment to Healthcare Workers

UOSSM provided healthcare workers in healthcare facilities in northwest Syria with personal protective equipment (PPE). The PPE includes masks, goggles, gloves, hand sanitizer, plastic gowns, etc. In addition, UOSSM will support health facilities with IPC and waste management materials. This will help strengthen infection prevention and control (IPC) measures.

UOSSM continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking the following measures:

  • Supporting primary health care centers (PHCs)
  • Establishing and operating community-based isolation centers (CBICs)
  • Sterilization of displacement camps
  • Distribution of hygiene kits containing sanitizing and personal care items
  • Distribution of nutritious food baskets
  • Establishing a distance-learning center in Afrin
  • Distributing educational awareness brochures about COVID-19 in areas of displacement.

These measures will help reduce the spread of the coronavirus among healthcare workers and patients, especially the most vulnerable. Controlling the spread of COVID-19 will help save lives and enhance people’s health in northwest Syria.

UOSSM Supports Manual Vacuum Assisted Closure Negative Pressure Wound Therapy by Distributing Special Wound Dressing

UOSSM is supporting the manual vacuum assisted closure (VAC) negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), which is widely used in the treatment of wounds, by distributing special wound dressing. This treatment promotes shortened healing time, preventing infectious complications, including conflict-related wounds, with favorable patient outcomes.

Impact Story- Nour

Nour’s family is from Latakia. They are displaced and living in a displacement camp. After noticing that Nour had no appetite, her mother took her to the pediatric clinic in UOSSM’s Kharbat Al Joz Primary Health Care Center. After examination, the 24 month old was referred to the nutrition clinic. She was diagnosed with moderate acute malnutrition.

Nour was entered into the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program. The team members stressed to the family the importance of continuing with this program, following up with the nutrition technician, and following the nutritional advice to help Nour reach a healthy weight. We are happy to report that after only 1 1/2 months, Nour recovered from moderate acute malnutrition.

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 and with Syrian refugees in Turkey.

In 2019:

  • UOSSM provided medical services to almost 1.5 million people in Syria and Turkey
  • UOSSM provided primary health care services to over 235,000 people
  • UOSSM provided protection services to over 29,000 people
  • UOSSM provided over 93,500 beneficiaries with nutrition services focused on
    women and children
  • UOSSM Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services provided care to over 34,000 people
  • UOSSM Bab Al Hawa Hospital provided health care services to over 1 million patients since establishment 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 © *2021* *UOSSM USA, All rights reserved.

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BREAKING: Syria Reports First Case of COVID-19, UOSSM Expects Parabolic Jump In Cases
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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2020

BREAKING: Syria Reports First Case of COVID-19, UOSSM Expects Parabolic Jump In Cases

Dallas, Texas- This weekend the Syrian Government reported their first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Damascus (not including Northern Syria). UOSSM projects a significantly higher number of cases that have gone unreported. Over 80% of the medical infrastructure in Syria is operating at a limited capacity and COVID-19 testing kits are extremely inaccessible.

UOSSM predicts a parabolic jump of cases in North Western Syria in the next two weeks. The medical system definitively does not have the capacity to cope with the influx. The UN reports that there are 4,178,480 people in North Western Syria, living in densely populated conditions with little access to healthcare. In Idlib (pop. 3.5+ million) there are 201 ICU beds and only 95 ventilators. 100% of the ventilators are currently in use and not available to treat COVID-19 patients. In North Western Syria there is currently only one PCR Lab. In the past 12 months alone, 85 medical facilities have been attacked and most are currently not functional. The medical infrastructure cannot handle the existing population needs let alone a wide spread pandemic. Medical staff suffer from a shortage of masks, gloves, gowns, disinfectant, thermal scanners and other medical supplies.
Years of war and malnutrition have left many people’s immune systems compromised and the entire population susceptible to drastically higher mortality rates. It is predicted that the transmission rates will be dramatically higher than global averages due to densely populated IDP camps and multiple families living in the same dwelling.

Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “ Even though there is only one confirmed case this does not reflect the actual number of active cases in Syria. There have been reports of people who are sick with symptoms similar to COVID-19 however there is very limited laboratory diagnostic capacity to confirm. According to WHO and based on the current epidemiological situation in the region with the rapid spread of cases in neighboring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, WHO considers the overall risk for Syria to be very high. Considering the disrupted and fragile health system, the risk of the spread of diseases is high in Aleppo and Idleb governorates.
It is terrifying to think about what will happen if this spreads to areas of displacement, as millions are living in densely populated areas with no option for social distancing, limited access to soap, clean water, medical supplies, and a major shortage of ICU beds and ventilators. I fear the death toll could be catastrophic.”

UOSSM ‘s response and preparedness plan for Covid-19 as follows:

UOSSM’s mobile clinics have made it a top priority to visit communities and educate the population on social distancing, hygiene practices and steps if people are symptomatic.
UOSSM has nurse/staff in front of medical facilities to screen patients and direct them to the right area.
UOSSM has asked all health workers to attend the WHO online course “Introduction to Emerging Respiratory Viruses, Including Novel Coronavirus”.
UOSSM’s technical team has trained all health workers in UOSSM PHC centers on the detection of suspected cases, handling of cases, referral of cases, and reporting.
UOSSM is working in close collaboration with the Idlib Health Directorate to implement a ‘COVID-19 Response Plan’. A few days ago, the Idlib Health Directorate announced the opening of an epidemic surveillance laboratory to carry out PCR tests to identify COVID-19 (testing kits currently unavailable).

COVID-19 Imminent Threat in Syria
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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2020

BREAKING: COVID- 19 Imminent Threat in Syria

Dallas, Texas- The global spread of COVID-19 has created an imminent epidemiological threat to Syria and refugees in surrounding countries. Cases have been reported in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and Turkey. North Western Syria is particularly vulnerable given a population of close to 4 million people, including 1 million IDPs, packed into densely populated areas. Years of war and malnutrition have left many people’s immune systems compromised and the entire population susceptible to drastically higher mortality rates. It is predicted that the transmission rates will be dramatically higher than global averages due to densely populated internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and multiple families living in the same dwelling.

In the past 12 months alone, 85 medical facilities have been attacked and most are currently not functional. The medical infrastructure cannot handle the existing population needs let alone a wide spread pandemic. The medical system suffers from a shortage of masks, gloves, gowns, disinfectant, thermal scanners and other medical supplies.

UOSSM calls on the international community to immediately provide personal protective equipment, thermal scanners, quarantine units and lab testing kits/ capacity to prevent this humanitarian catastrophe.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “Protective measures must be taken to prevent a major outbreak of the Coronavirus in areas of displacement. People are living in densely populated areas and there is no option of social distancing for many. Medical facilities are in desperate need of medical supplies and testing equipment. We urge the international community to ensure that families in areas of displacement are protected to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe.”

UOSSM has developed a preparedness plan for Covid-19 as follows:

• UOSSM developed guidelines based on WHO guidelines and publications, which cover identification of the disease and how to manage the suspected cases.
• The guideline was distributed in all UOSSM PHC centers.
• UOSSM asked all health workers to attend the WHO online course “Introduction to emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronavirus”.
• UOSSM technical field team will provide health workers in all health facilities with technical support with regards to the coronavirus.
• UOSSM will prepare IEC, posters and brochures about the virus and hygiene. They will be distributed in PHC centers.
• UOSSM’s technical team will organize a meeting with all health workers in UOSSM PHC centers in order to train them on the detection of suspected cases, handling of cases, referral of cases, and reporting.

UOSSM is coordinating closely with the WHO and other partners to manage this situation as it develops.

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