Incident highlights need for mobile emergency medical units
Kilis, Turkey. After a deadly car bomb killed at least 43 and injured dozens in northern Syria, Malteser International helped transport and provided first aid to the wounded. Two of its ambulances brought several people from the scene of the attack near the Syria-Turkey border crossing to the state hospital in the Turkish town of Kilis, just a few miles from the border.
This new episode underlines the urgency of improving mobile emergency health care in the border region. “While the security situation in northern Syria remains highly volatile, the humanitarian needs are immense,” says Oliver Hochedez, emergency relief coordinator at Malteser International. “The region’s residents are in dire need of health care, but most of the medical facilities in and around Aleppo are either destroyed, abandoned or operating above capacity.”
Malteser International is deploying three new mobile health stations to internally displaced camps in northern Syria, where they will provide medical care for 50,000 Syrians. The camps are located near Kilis, where Malteser International supports the local hospital with a 28-bed field clinic together with partner organization International Blue Crescent. Two ambulances provide transport for Syrian patients in critical condition to the health facilities across the border.
Malteser International has provided emergency relief for Syrians in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey since 2012. Last year alone, these relief measures reached nearly 185,000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons.