In 2017, there were at least 701 attacks on hospitals, health workers, patients, and ambulances in 23 countries in conflict around the world. More than 101 health workers and 293 patients and others are reported to have died as a result of these attacks
April 30, 2018
Washington, D.C.- Currently, 129 Syrian refugees residing in Jordan, including 67 women, are suffering from serious end stage kidney disease and can no longer access lifesaving treatment, namely kidney dialysis. Aisha Ibrahim, 79, is one of them. Aisha needs three dialysis session a week. However, she has not received treatment for more than a month now. Her condition is deteriorating.
Washington, D.C.- Yesterday, April 15, 2018, SAMS-supported Al-Mara’a Hospital in Idlib was subjected to unlawful attacks carried out by armed factions that lasted more than seven hours. Heavy armed clashes started in the vicinity of the hospital and soon moved inside the building, instilling fear and panic in medical staff and their patients, and causing material damages, including the destruction of the hospital’s blood bank.
*This news release has been updated to reflect two additional signatories, bringing the final number to 47.
April 8, 2018
Washington, D.C.- Following a brief ceasefire that only lasted for a couple of days, the city of Douma, East Ghouta, was again subjected to heavy shelling that resulted in dozens of casualties and hundreds of injuries. The attacks included the systematic targeting of medical centers and civil defense teams, resulting in the the destruction of the majority of the civil defense centers and a large number of ambulances and rescue vehicles, heavily paralyzing the medical capacity of the city.
Washington, D.C.- On March 12, 2018, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), along with 11 other humanitarian organizations working inside Syria, shared the coordinates of 60 health facilities in Syria with UN OCHA. As part of the process, OCHA then shared the coordinates with the parties involved in the Syrian conflict.
Washington D.C., Yesterday, March 7, besieged East Ghouta was subjected to a systematic and unprecedented aerial bombardment campaign using all kinds of internationally prohibited weapons such as napalm, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, and chlorine gas. Our staff the ground reported 93 casualties, many of which were children.
Despite repeated international calls to stop these heinous attacks on East Ghouta and the UN Security Council’s resolution demanding a 30-day cessation-of hostilities, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate on a daily basis.
March 9, 2018
Hind El Hamade, 37, is a Syrian woman who lives in a small settlement in the Bekaa Valley area with her five children. Hind lost her husband in Syria, and was forced to leave her parents there when she fled. She struggles as a single mother, responsible for her family, and from the trauma of losing her home. We recently met Hind during SAMS’s recent OBGYN medical mission to Lebanon, where skilled medical volunteers provided reproductive health surgeries and services to Syrian women living in refugee settlements.
March 7, 2018
Geneva, Switzerland - A coalition of medical and humanitarian organizations, some working inside besieged Eastern Ghouta, have urged the United Nations Security Council to vote for an immediate cessation of hostilities to allow urgent humanitarian assistance to all areas in need in Syria. The Security Council is expected to vote tomorrow on a resolution aimed at implementing the cessation of hostilities and lifting sieges on areas like Eastern Ghouta.
February 20, 2018
Washington, D.C.- Over the past 48 hours, besieged East Ghouta has been subjected to an intense campaign of aerial bombardment, killing at least 250 civilians and injuring more than 460. The 400,000 besieged residents have experienced a barrage of airstrikes, barrel bombs, and surface-to-surface missiles, weapons known to cause disproportionate loss and injury to civilians.
February 1, 2018
Washington, D.C.- Today, at 12 pm local time, the SAMS-supported Kafr Zeita Cave Hospital in northern Hama countryside was targeted by five airstrikes, resulting in heavy material damages. Airstrikes penetrated the roof of the entrance, which consists of six meters of landfill. No casualties were reported.
Washington, D.C.- Earlier today, Al-Salam Hospital supported by the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) in Ma’arat al-Nu’man city in Idlib governorate was attacked by airstrikes, killing five people, including a newborn baby girl and her father, and injuring many more. It is the only maternity hospital in Ma’arat al-Nu’man city that serves a population of nearly 500,000. Dr. Bashar Yousef, the only pediatrician at the hospital, was injured in the attack. Dr. Yousef supervises the intensive care department, and the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.
Washington, D.C. – Today in besieged East Ghouta, medical evacuations began for a group of 29 critical cases, which have been approved for medical evacuation to Damascus. Four patients were evacuated today, with the remainder being evacuated over the coming days. The evacuation process started at 9:00 pm local time, and concluded at approximately 12:30 am local time.
Since August, 646,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh. According to the latest Doctors Without Borders report, at least 6,700 Rohingyas died, mostly due to violence in a brutal military crackdown, between August 25 and September 24. This deeply troubling number includes at least 730 children under the age of five.
Washington, D.C.- Yesterday morning, a SAMS facility in East Ghouta began receiving patients suffering from constricted pupils, coughing, vomiting, and bradypnea (abnormally slow breathing), all of which are symptoms indicative to exposure to chemical compounds. The victims reported that they were exposed to a substance following an artillery strike. Of the 61 individuals exposed to the substance, 15 required hospitalization, including 11 who were admitting to SAMS facilities.
Meet Alia Salam, SAMS Psychosocial Manager in Lebanon
“I have a lot of family who are affected by the conflict. I know how much they struggle, and how poor their mental health and emotional well-being is.”
Alia Salam recently started working with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) in Lebanon, as the Psychosocial Support Program Manager. For Alia, who is half Syrian, half Lebanese, her work is intensely personal.
Inside a an empty traditional Arab house, Umm Mohamed, 40, sits on the floor, holding her 6-month-old twins.
Her infant twins were recently diagnosed with mild malnutrition at a medical center in Hamouriya, East Ghouta. As she was leaving the center, the staff gave her one bottle of baby formula to feed her two children – it was all they could spare.
Every week, Umm Mohamed receives one bottle of milk from the health center, as they too struggle to meet an overwhelming demand admist a dearth of essential supplies.
Hala al-Nufi is 2 years old. She weighs 4.10 kilograms (9 pounds). Since the age of seven months, Hala has struggled with health problems, according to her mother, Um Sayyah. Around that time, Um Sayyah was able to take her to daughter to Damascus to seek medical care through tunnels between East Ghouta and Damascus. Damascus is a mere 10 kilometres away, but an entirely different world.
“Hala spent 5 months at a hospital in Damascus receiving treatment. We were happy that her condition improved and were able to get back home to Sabqa in East Ghouta,” said Um Sayyah.
As we arrived to Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, we witnessed massive floods surrounding tents like islands, with Rohingya refugees attempting to swim to the main road for safety.
“This flooding is caused by last night’s rainfall” remarked Mrs. Khatun.