The heavy bombardment of Idlib on Tuesday May 31, caused the shutdown of many area hospitals due to safety concerns. Many of the wounded were going to UOSSM’s Bab al Hawa Hospital, but is not equipped to take in so many patients at once. Three children died lying in the emergency room awaiting treatment. Click here to read the full press release.
UOSSM‘s Al-Marjeh Primary Health Care Center in Aleppo was targeted on Friday April 29 by Syrian forces and it’s allies and was directly hit leading to complete damage of the PHC, which will now be shut down indefinitely. Fortunately there were no victims as this center was closed.
The center consists of pediatric, gynecological and internal medicine clinics and has a pharmacy and lab.
The center was established by UOSSM in partnership with Expertise France in 2014 and has been supported by UNOCHA HPF Fund since July 2015.
1888 consultations are provided per month in the center. This is not the first time the center was targeted and attacked.
Click here to read the full press releaseRead more
WOMEN KILLED IN MATERNITY WARD DURING LABOR IN HOSPITAL ATTACK IN ALEPPO; TWO DOCTORS ALONG WITH SEVERAL STAFFERS KILLED
The Al-Quds Hospital, in Aleppo, was targeted by Syrian Forces and Allies on Wednesday April, 27 by thermobaric bombs, causing death and destruction. The hospital was primarily a women’s and children’s hospital but also provided services including internal medicine, cardiology, nephrology, neurology, and other specialties. Among the victims were women that were in labor when the bombs struck killing them and their newborn or unborn babies. Two doctors were also killed. There at least 35 victims many of them women and children.
* The death toll has risen to at least 50 people and over 80 injured, that number is still expected to rise as bodies are still being pulled out of the rubble.
Click here to read the full press release.
Dr. Hassan Al-Araj, Head of the Health Directorate in Hama, Syria, was killed in an airstrike Wednesday April 13, during the ceasefire. Dr. Al-Araj had just left the the Al-Maghara Hospital, where he was Hospital Director, and was on his way to the Health Directorate when a surface-to-air missile struck approximately 60 feet from the hospital and less than one foot from his car killing the doctor instantly. Activists on the ground report that Dr. Al-Araj was the target of that air strike.
Click here to read the full press release.
Young Aisha was in the comfort of her own home in Daraya with her 39 year old mother, when all of a sudden she heard the sounds of armed forces forcing their way into neighboring homes along with loud screams and the piercing sound of bullets being fired. This was repeated from house to house in the area, the noises kept getting closer and closer, Aisha was more terrified than she had ever felt in her life.
Helplessness and fear took over her body as the forces came closer and closer to her home. She was afraid of being detained or even worse shot and killed, when the sound of the forces came to her door she ran to the attic to seek refuge and hide.
But she could still hear everything…the sounds of the forces breaking into her home, her mother screaming, yelling and cursing at the intruders and the sudden sound of a round of bullets being fired, her mother’s voice was suddenly quiet. She heard the intruders move from room to room in her home until finally she heard quiet as they left.
After about 36 hours people from the neighborhood started to search from house to house to find survivors of the attacks. They found young Aisha sitting next to the body of her dead mother. She had been sitting there since the attack. She probably remained in the attic for some time until she finally felt it was safe to come down, yet she remained in her home out of fear.
The child stayed with a family in a safe place in Damascus, Aisha started showing signs of mental distress, and she hardly slept because she would constantly see nightmares. She became very distant, did not want to leave the house for any reason, and did not want to play like a normal child of her age. Aisha lost her appetite, and she would have temper tantrums and then burst into tears uncontrollably for the most insignificant reasons. She was very moody and distant and would start uncontrollably shaking and crying and it became increasingly difficult to deal with the little girl.
The family decided to take her in for a psychiatric evaluation with Besher, one of UOSSM’s therapists, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. It took eight sessions for the therapist to earn Aisha’s trust. She had different sessions at the center including how to express herself, her feelings and emotions, through drawings and dialog boxes. Her family was also taught how to help them cope with her and how to let her cope with her feelings and fears. After a few months her condition started to improve, but unfortunately her family became displaced again and her treatment was abruptly stopped.
Children that experience this type of trauma and terror need treatment and help to deal with their feelings of despair and fear. This is what the war has done to Syria’s children.
The children in Syria have witnessed too many atrocities in the past five years. No child should ever have to bear witness a scene so brutal, so violent, that it could literally cause one to go into a state of shock from fear and distress. But yet again, a young child has been a part of a horrific, terrifying ordeal.
Omran is a nine year old boy from Dayr al Zour in Syria. One night when he was asleep with his family in his home, armed forces broke into the boy’s home in search of his father, once they found him they took and detained him. Out of fear of the return of the armed forces the rest of the family left the home and ran away to another area nearby.
The scene that left a scar on this child’s heart… the unforgettable scene that caused an unlimited amount of pain, fear, and terror was when young Omran witnessed the same armed forces that had detained his father, cutting off people’s heads and then dumping their lifeless bodies on top of each other, into cars.…
Imagine your child witnessing something so brutal. How would you feel? How would your child feel?
Time would pass and Omran’s father would be released, which led the family to seek refuge in Turkey. After a while Omran’s family started noticing patterns of distress and instability and signs of mental issues. Omran was taken to UOSSM’s Mental Health and Psycho Social Support Center in Reyhanli, Turkey. Young Omran was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and has and is still receiving treatment and support from the center.
Time will only tell if Omran will be able to fully get past the violent scene he witnessed but with your help and support, UOSSM’s dedicated staff will do everything they can to help heal this young boy from this terrible ordeal.
On February 15 three hospitals were targeted and hit with airstrikes causing damage that led them to shut down. This is the latest in a series of attacks on hospitals and civilian facilities that have been on the rise in the past few months.
Click here to read the full press release.
DR. KHAULA SAWAH CEO OF UOSSM USA ATTENDS INVITATION ONLY EVENT “SUPPORTING SYRIA AND THE REGION 2016”
Dr. Sawah said, ”It was a very intense conference and UOSSM is proud to be among the dignitaries and one of the few Syrian NGOs that were invited to this event.”
Please click here to read the full press release.
Among all those burns you can still see her smile light up a room, despite her pain and agony, she is still smiling. This is a story of hope… a story of triumph over tragedy… this is the story of Kauthar.
It was March 15, 2015, the 15 month old baby was sleeping in her home while her mother, Ruwaidahaa, was outside hanging laundry to dry, when all of a sudden the familiar and scary sound of a warplane was overhead. Kauthar’s five brothers got scared and ran out of the house to their mom, in that same moment the warplane dropped an explosive barrel on the house, causing the roof to collapse. The explosion of the barrel caused the gas canister to explode, their home was on fire.
The desperate mother ran inside the burning home to save her child and found Kauthar’s body engulfed in flames. Completely forgetting about her own health and safety, Ruwaidahaa grabbed her child and ran outside the house and tried to put out the flames on Kauthar’s small body. Then, all of a sudden the mother collapsed and lost consciousness.
Ruwaidahaa regained consciousness after a few hours and found herself in a hospital in Gaziantep, Turkey, she found out that her baby was transported to another hospital in Adna. Kauthar sustained second and third degree burns on 70% of her small body. She did not have any surgery of any kind only changing of her bandages. The only part of Kauthar’s face that was not burnt was her mouth. This helped her to drink and eat somewhat normally.
After almost a month the mother and her child were reunited. Ruwaidahaa knew the sound of the little girl, whose body was covered in bandages, she could hear her cry and ran to her to hold her and comfort her.
Kauthar was admitted to Syrian Medical Center (Dar al Esthfaa) where she would stay for 10 days as representatives from UOSSM connected with a humanitarian organization in the US to arrange for her reconstructive surgeries and treatment.
Kauthar is currently in Galveston, TX along with her mother and will get treatment from Shriners Hospital for Children. It is estimated that her treatment will require between 4-6 months.
While young Kauthar was in Dar al Estshfaa she would point to her mouth and say it doesn’t hurt, she would say she can still eat, say some words and even smile. She doesn’t even realize that most of her body is scarred from the burns, she just smiles and lights up the room.
This is the story of Fatima, she suffered pain that no mother should ever have to endure. This is one of many stories of a mother’s pain and agony in war-torn Syria.
Fatima, 24, is from the southern Aleppo countryside, she is married and has two children, and she was carrying her third child. She has lived with her small family in Aleppo for many years now. Her husband used to work in construction. Fatima was in her ninth month of pregnancy, it was almost her due date and she was thinking with her husband about which hospital she would deliver her baby, the hospital near them was nearly destroyed as a result of the war. They decided to go back to their village because there is a new maternity and pediatric hospital there.
The day she would give birth arrived. Fatima went to the hospital along with her husband and mother in law. She had to have a C-Section, it took almost two hours for her to regain consciousness from the anesthesia. She carried her newborn baby girl for the first time and then the nurse put her baby in the bed next to Fatima.
Fatima said, “ After a few minutes I started to hear the sound of a warplane overhead, fear started to set in peoples’ eyes, then, after a few seconds the whole ground shook under me, the walls collapsed and all the medical equipment in the hospital was destroyed…dust was everywhere…shrapnel was flying all around us. I felt something penetrate my legs, I raised my left leg and saw blood gushing out from my extremities. I lost consciousness, when I regained consciousness I found myself in Bab al Hawa Hospital. I looked at my left leg and saw it was in a brace and both legs were wrapped from top to bottom. My mother in law was next to me I asked her where is my baby?”
Her mother in law gave her the horrible news that her newborn baby died, her tiny body and lungs couldn’t handle the dust flying everywhere and choked to death. One can only imagine the distress as Fatima heard those horrible words. The young, grieving mother was severely injured and needed her strength to recover and go back to her family.
Her doctor Abd al Wahab, an orthopedic surgeon, said, “Fatima got here and both legs were extremely injured, which caused several open breaks in her bones, she was taken immediately to the operating room. We put an external brace on the bottom of her left leg and metal plates in the bottom of her right leg, we gave her a blood transfusion because she lost a lot of blood from the injuries.”
It took a while to recover but we are happy to report that Fatima’s health is now in excellent condition. As for her mental state, she is not doing so well. She is feeling a lot of grief over the loss of her baby and the trauma and stress she experienced on that horrible day.
UOSSM provides all types of health care, physical and mental and will hopefully help Fatima and the many mothers like her, to a full recovery.