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Turkey: SAMS - Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) Endline Report Situation of Syrian Refugees under COVID-19 Pandemic - March 2021

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I. Overview

The Syrian American Medical Society Foundation (SAMS) is a non-profit, non-political, medical relief organization.
Through its offices in the US, Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, SAMS implements and manages medical relief programs in Syria as well as in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Greece. In 2020, SAMS through supported health facilities and projects in northern Syria reached over 1.25 million medical consultations throughout more than 41 supported health facilities including primary, subspecialty, and mobile clinics, HBIUs, dental clinics, birth centers, dialysis units, MHPSS programs, in addition to rehabilitation services and immunization campaigns. Because of its vast network of physicians throughout the US, and through its staff and partners inside Syria and the neighboring countries, SAMS has the unique ability to access the most hard-toreach areas and most vulnerable populations among the IDP and refugee communities.

SAMS has been authorized since 2014 to operate in Turkey and therefore, has built strong relationships with the Turkish government, NGOs, local health authorities. SAMS easily coordinates work with other NGOs registered in Turkey that serve refugees. SAMS has worked in conjunction with regional humanitarian organizations in organizing the gifts-in-kind (GIK) program, humanitarian relief inside border camps, and border crossings for SAMS’s volunteers, staff and patients in need of treatment in Turkey. SAMS is continuously in communication with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and border authorities. SAMS’s staff have gained the trust of local populations and officials in areas where programs are implemented.

SAMS is coordinating with other partners through the Health Sector Working Group (HSWG) and the MHPSS Working Group, which are chaired by the Turkish MoH and World Health Organization (WHO). As a member in these groups, SAMS is attending monthly coordination meetings, following strategic objectives identified by the HSWG and the 3RP for refugees in Turkey.

SAMS is also coordinating directly with the MoH and the Health Directorate in Gaziantep. Selecting the MHPSS center in Gaziantep, for example, was a product of direct communication and close coordination with the Health Directorate to verify the community’s need and select the optimal location to fill the MHPSS service provision gap.
Since 2019 and to this writing, SAMS implement a project called ‘‘Provision of Health and MHPSS Services to Syrian Refugees in Turkey” with the main objective of “Improve the health and well-being of Syrian refugees” through the support of MHPSS center in Gaziantep and Autism center in Istanbul. Moreover, SAMS is in full coordination with the Turkish MoH and the Ministry of Family Labor and Social Services, and the Provincial municipalities, in sharing information and updates on humanitarian situation reports in Turkey. The component of the social cohesion activities is going directly under full coordination with the municipalities who are usually cooperative in facilitating such activities.