UOSSM Participates in Geneva Conference
UOSSM participated at the Protecting Hospital and Healthcare Workers Conference in Geneva on Dec. 11, 2015, hosted by UOSSM Switzerland. Alongside a presentation by UOSSM-Canada's Dr. Anas Al Kassem, four other medical relief organizations (SEMA, Sham, SAMS, PAC) also presented about the alarming attacks on healthcare in Syria and the extensive loss of medical infrastructure and medical personnel. Present at the conference were UN-OCHA and WHO, who participated in the discussions on strategies to overcome these enormous challenges.
After continuous and extensive attacks on healthcare in Syria, UOSSM's hospital surveys (completed in areas accessible to UOSSM) were able to verify that only 113 hospitals remain in Syria, served by only 119 surgeons and 153 certified nurses. This points to an urgent shortage of medical staff and facilities, one of the challenges UOSSM, and partnering organizations, helped bring to light at this conference.
Mental Health Centre Opens in Gazientep
UOSSM is pleased to announce the opening of a new mental health centre in Gazientep on Dec. 28, 2015. This centre will provide psychosocial services free of charge to Syrian refugees. The centre also includes a team of professionals that deliver psychosocial services at different educational institutions in the area to help serve the needs of refugees who are not able to make it to the centre.
Opening of Primary Health Care Centre in Reyhanli
UOSSM is also pleased to announce the opening of a new primary health care centre in Reyhanli, in partnership with MDM. The centre opened on Jan 18, 2016 and provides free medical support to Syrian refugees. Services include psychosocial support, gynecology, pediatrics, and dental care. The clinic also includes an onsite lab to help effectively serve the needs of Syrian refugees in the area.
UOSSM Launches Nursing and Midwife Training Institute in Daraa
On January 2016, UOSSM launched its first medical training institute in southern Syria's Sayda, Daraa. The aim is to increase the number of medical professionals and the level of health services available in the area. UOSSM identified an urgent need for this as large numbers of medical professionals continue to flee from the area due to continued attacks. This critical program, supported by UOSSM-France, will run for 12 months with an annual budget of $110,400. The program aims to train 105 students by the end of 2016 which will result in significantly increased levels of medical services available to civilians in the area.