February 2019


A new beginning for Zahia


50 years old, Zahia Al Saloum was hospitalized in an alarming state of exhaustion. In a voice barely audible, this refugee from Al Wadihi camp, told our teams about the recent events that had marked her life. A year ago, she lost her son. Two months later, she lost her husband and then her grandson. Losing so many loved ones was a deep grievance. With such trauma, Zahia's physical health was impacted.

This battle she could not win alone. Zahia went to our health center in Deir Hassan for a check-up.  A first consultation and a cardiac examination revealed that she was suffering from immense stress causing repeated insomnia. Our general practitioner gave her several tips to ease her anxiety. He continues to follow Zahia's condition and provide her with psychological support and attentive listening as long as it is needed.

Our mission: to listen, comfort and support the most vulnerable. Because preventing and healing invisible wounds is instrumental in helping the Syrian society to recover.




Breaking News

Casualties in Idlib

It was a deadly week for Syrian children when several were killed in targeted attacks on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib. With this attack, the death toll for the month was raised to at least 58, including 16 women and 25 children, and 108 injuries. Among the victims was an unborn baby which appeared to be full term. In addition, three young boys were playing outside, fell victim to an attack and were killed (picture shown above). A young girl was also wounded in an artillery attack that killed both of her parents. It is estimated that 30,000 people have fled Khan Sheikhoun and are moving to already overwhelmed refugee camps in the region. The freezing temperatures in Idlib right now have also made the situation deadly for children, the elderly and infirm. UOSSM continues to treat the injured and issued a call to action for all actors to respect demilitarized zones and prosecute the targeting of civilians and medical staff as a war crime.


UOSSM in Action

UOSSM-Canada hosts symposium and Annual General Meeting

On February 2nd, UOSSM welcomed over 80 professionals from various healthcare disciplines, including nursing, medicine, and allied health for a symposium and annual general meeting. Highlights from the meeting included sessions on the management of complex wounds and mental health solutions in conflict settings, an award from Member of Parliament Iqra Khalid, as well as a presentation on UOSSM's activities planned for the coming year in Bangladesh, Turkey, and Syria. The meeting also discussed the impact of UOSSM's work in 2018, notably, the number of services accessed within the domains of primary healthcare (1,035,472), nutrition and community health (420,351), protection (113,512), mental health and psychosocial support (18,968), and secondary and tertiary healthcare (256,446).


UOSSM renews operations for dental mobile clinic in Bangladesh

On Friday February 22, UOSSM-Canada met with representatives from ICNA Relief Canada to discuss progress, goals, and measurement indicators for the dental mobile clinic that is operational within Cox's Bazar. Close to 3500 patients have visited and were treated at the ICNA/UOSSM Mobile Clinic since its inception in August 15, 2018 to December 2018. In addition to this, staff have also served patients and conducted health education at a Child Care Home on a weekly basis. The clinic staff consists of dentists, dental assistants, a driver, electrician, mechanical staff and a registrar. As a team, they conduct regular patient cleaning, consultation and follow up, emergency patient management, and maintenance of patient records. Read the full report here.



UOSSM doctors travel to Cox's Bazar for medical mission

UOSSM doctors traveled to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh for a medical, humanitarian mission from January 28-February 2, 2019. The doctors hoped to provide theoretical and practical training to medical personnel working in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar. The training sessions were offered by Dr. Dured Dardari, Associate Professor, Diabetologist at the Sorbonne University in Paris, and Head of the Diabetes Podiatry unit at the Sud-Francilien Hospital Center, Dr. Eric Deschamps, Orthosyst, and Mrs. Marie Bouly, Therapeutic Education Nurse. Topics for discussion included diabetic foot, found in 15% of cases and often leading to amputation. With the training offered on proper diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, it is hoped that complications such as amputation and fatality can be avoided.



UOSSM opens a new mental health centre in Istanbul

UOSSM opened a psychological and mental health support center on February 2 in Istanbul in the presence of the representatives from the Turkish Health Directorate, the Esenyurt Health Directorate, the European Union and our Relief International partners. The centre was opened in response to the growing need for mental health services by Syrian refugees.



UOSSM co-organizes Global Syrian Refugees Crisis Conference

UOSSM, along with Global Health Research, Management and Solutions, and Gaziantep University are organizing the Global Syrian Refugees Crisis Conference. The conference is scheduled for October 14-18, 2019. The Conference is designed to better understand and address the urgent needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey and around the world. Those wishing to participate in the conference may submit a scientific abstract. For more information about the conference and the call for abstract please visit the conference website:  https://www.syrianrefugeeconference.com/ 



Did you know?

Since 2012, UOSSM has been providing emergency medical relief and healthcare services to the Syrian people affected by the crisis, working primarily inside Syria and with Syrian refugees in Turkey.


  • In 2018, UOSSM supported 16 primary health care centers and 13 mobile clinics
  • Bab Al Hawa Hospital has provided health care services to almost 1 million patients since its establishment
  • In 2018, over 162,000 beneficiaries were provided with nutrition services focused on women and children
  • UOSSM Mental Health and Psychosocial Support provided care to 14,140 beneficiaries in 2018


UOSSM Canada is a federally tax-exempt non-profit 149(1)(l) charitable Humanitarian organization. Registered charity no. 83614 3388 RR0001. All donations to UOSSM Canada are fully deductible from taxes to the greatest extent permitted by law.

Copyright © 2019 UOSSM Canada, All rights reserved.

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