Syrians Can't Stay Home if they Don't Have One

North Western #Syria is particularly vulnerable to the #coronavirus given that a population of over 4 million people, including 1 million IDP’s, is packed into densely populated areas. They don't have a home to #stayhome and #socialdistancing is not an option. Years of #war and #malnutrition have left many people's immune systems compromised and the entire population susceptible to drastically higher mortality rates. #Covid19 #stayhome.

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Internet connections to protect the Syrian population from COVID-19

UOSSM teams are taking several measures to prepare for the outbreak: the deployment of medical emergency mobile teams that will be operational 24/7, the improvement of existing medical infrastructures, the creation of specific centres for COVID-19, the protection of the medical teams and the diffusion of relevant information among the population to be able to contain the spread of the virus. In such context, TSF connections are essential. UOSSM doctors use our satellite equipment to communicate with the medical points and field hospitals and to coordinate the delivery of medical materials to the areas most in need. They can provide remote medical assistance and remain up-to-date with the latest medical researches and studies, which is paramount to face a new virus on which new information is shared every day. Please click here to read the full story.

Arwa Damon Reports on New Potential Killer for Syrians

CNN's Arwa Damon reports on a new potential killer for Syrians, COVID-19. They simply don't have the resources/ability to protect themselves against the #Coronavirus. Dr. Munzer Khalil, Director of the Idlib Health Directorate fears a tsunami of deaths if the virus spreads within crowded areas of displacement, with a decimated health care system, only 600 doctors, 201 ICU beds and around 100 ventilators for a population of over 4 million. Please click here to watch the video.

VIDEO: UOSSM Response to COVID-19; Hygiene Kits for Displaced Syrians

In response to the #COVID19 outbreak and as a preventative measure, UOSSM USA, in collaboration with UOSSM, provide hygiene kits to over 1000 internally displaced persons in Northern Syria


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Update From Dr. Munzer Khalil - March 30, 2020

Dr. Munzer Khalil, Director of the Idlib Health Directorate, talks in brief about the importance of protecting medical staff members in NW Syria. There are only 1.4 doctors per 10,000 people in Northwest Syria. The minimum acceptable number in times of war is 5 doctors per 10,000. Please click here to watch the video.

COVID-19 in Syria Dangers

The Idlib Health Directorate shared this graphic showing the gravity of the situation if Coronavirus spreads to NW Syria.  There are only 600 doctors, only 201 ICU beds and only 95 adult ventilators in Northwest Syria. The most advanced countries in the world are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, imagine what would happen in Syria.

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VIDEO: UOSSM Doctor on Coronavirus

UOSSM Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim gives advice on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. 


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Update From Dr. Munzer Khalil - March, 27 2020

Dr. Munzer Khalil, Director of the Idlib Health Directorate, sends out a message to the people of northwest Syria on initiatives to help others, especially those at high risk to stay home and practice social distancing. Please click here to watch the video.

PRESS RELEASE: Syria Reports First Case of COVID-19

March 24, 2020
BREAKING: Syria Reports First Case of COVID-19, UOSSM Expects Parabolic Jump In Cases
Dallas, Texas- This weekend the Syrian Government reported their first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Damascus (not including Northern Syria). UOSSM projects a significantly higher number of cases that have gone unreported.  Over 80% of the medical infrastructure in Syria is operating at a limited capacity and COVID-19 testing kits are extremely inaccessible. 
UOSSM predicts a parabolic jump of cases in North Western Syria in the next two weeks. The medical system definitively does not have the capacity to cope with the influx. The UN reports that there are 4,178,480 people in North Western Syria, living in densely populated conditions with little access to healthcare. In Idlib (pop. 3.5+ million) there are 201 ICU beds and only 95 ventilators. 100% of the ventilators are currently in use and not available to treat COVID-19 patients. In North Western Syria there is currently only one PCR Lab. In the past 12 months alone, 85 medical facilities have been attacked and most are currently not functional.  The medical infrastructure cannot handle the existing population needs let alone a wide spread pandemic. Medical staff suffer from a shortage of masks, gloves, gowns, disinfectant, thermal scanners and other medical supplies. 
Years of war and malnutrition have left many people’s immune systems compromised and the entire population susceptible to drastically higher mortality rates. It is predicted that the transmission rates will be dramatically higher than global averages due to densely populated IDP camps and multiple families living in the same dwelling. 
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “ Even though there is only one confirmed case this does not reflect the actual number of active cases in Syria. There have been reports of people who are sick with symptoms similar to COVID-19 however there is very limited laboratory diagnostic capacity to confirm. According to WHO and based on the current epidemiological situation in the region with the rapid spread of cases in neighboring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, WHO considers the overall risk for Syria to be very high. Considering the disrupted and fragile health system, the risk of the spread of diseases is high in Aleppo and Idleb governorates. 
It is terrifying to think about what will happen if this spreads to areas of displacement, as millions are living in densely populated areas with no option for social distancing, limited access to soap, clean water, medical supplies, and a major shortage of ICU beds and ventilators. I fear the death toll could be catastrophic.”
UOSSM 's response and preparedness plan for Covid-19 as follows:
  • UOSSM’s mobile clinics have made it a top priority to visit communities and educate the population on social distancing, hygiene practices and steps if people are symptomatic. 
  • UOSSM has nurse/staff in front of medical facilities to screen patients and direct them to the right area. 
  • UOSSM has asked all health workers to attend the WHO online course “Introduction to Emerging Respiratory Viruses, Including Novel Coronavirus”.
  • UOSSM’s technical team has trained all health workers in UOSSM PHC centers on the detection of suspected cases, handling of cases, referral of cases, and reporting.
  • UOSSM is working in close collaboration with the Idlib Health Directorate to implement a ‘COVID-19 Response Plan’. A few days ago, the Idlib Health Directorate announced the opening of an epidemic surveillance laboratory to carry out PCR tests to identify COVID-19 (testing kits currently unavailable).
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Update From Dr. Munzer Khalil - March, 23 2020

Dr. Munzer Khalil, director of the Idlib Health Directorate, shares information on the urgent need for response to the Coronavirus. According to the United Nations there are over 4 million people in northern Syria. There are only 3065 patient beds, only 201 ICU beds and only 95 ventilators. Most ventilators are currently in use, which means very little are available in the case of an outbreak. The area is in desperate need of ICU beds, ventilators, and supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here to watch the video. 

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