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.
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.
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.
Last month marked the fourth anniversary of the August 2013 chemical attack that took the lives of more than 1,200 people in East Ghouta, one of the largest suburbs in Rural Damascus. Once a lively agricultural area inhabited by more than 1.2 million people, its population is currently estimated at around 400,000, one third of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs).1 In October 2013, the Syrian government imposed a stifling siege on East Ghouta after months of cutting access to basic necessities including electricity, potable water, and telecommunications.
Washington, D.C.- Yesterday, the Government of Syria and its allies carried out three aerial attacks on medical facilities in Idlib, Hama, and besieged East Ghouta. These attacks are part of an intensifying escalation of violence directly targeting the medical infrastructure of areas outside of government control.
More than half a million Rohingya refugees have fled persecution in Myanmar, seeking refuge in makeshift shelters in Bangladesh. In order to respond to the growing need for medical care in Bangladesh, SAMS Global Response (SGR) has partnered with a local medical organization, Gonoshaathata Kendra (GK) to assess the situation in Cox’s Bazar and deliver medical assistance, including supporting mobile and static clinics, distributing medical supplies and addressing nutritional needs.
WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 31, 2017 – Earlier this month, WWE Superstar Sami Zayn teamed up with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) to launch the #SamiForSyria campaign. The campaign seeks to raise funds to launch a new mobile clinic, which would provide primary medical aid for civilians in Syria who otherwise have no access to health care.
World Refugee Day, June 20, is a global day to **commemorate the resilience, bravery, and strength of people who have escaped conflict and are rebuilding their lives**.
The UN estimates that **over 11 million Syrians are displaced both inside and outside of their home country, making Syrians the largest refugee population in the world. **Refugees face barriers in accessing high quality healthcare. Many must grapple with constant fear, uncertainty, and instability.
June 7, 2017
In recent days, the aerial bombardment campaign over Dara’a has intensified. According to reports from the ground, in the first five days of June, there have been approximately 330 direct fire activities, including air raids, explosive barrels, artillery, rockets, explosive cylinders, and explosive charges. These attacks have been carried out by the Syrian government and its allies, and represent a dramatic increase from the 165 aerial attacks which took place last month.
Washington, D.C.- Earlier today, a team of medical doctors affiliated with al-Ghouta medical office in East Ghouta came under attack from a local armed group. Three doctors, including one who is supported by SAMS, were forcibly detained as they were traveling to a nearby hospital. Thankfully, the doctors were released. However, when other health workers came to the location to stand in solidarity with their colleagues, the armed fighters began shooting at their vehicles.
Washington, D.C.- Over the past few weeks, systematic and targeted attacks on healthcare in Syria have intensified. According to our staff on the ground, in April alone, 24 attacks on healthcare were carried out by the Syrian government and its allies, killing 10 health workers and injuring 16.
Yesterday, a hospital in Deir Sharqy in Al Ma’ara, south of Idlib, was targeted by four airstrikes, killing 3 patients and injuring 3 medical workers. The hospital maintained structural damages.