January 2016

Journal January 2016

UOSSM-Canada's 2nd Annual General Meeting a Big Success

UOSSM-Canada would like to express its gratitude to everyone who made our second annual AGM a wonderful success. Medical professionals, community leaders and government representatives, in addition to UOSSM’s long standing supporters, attended the UOSSM-Canada AGM on Dec. 13, 2016. Highlights from the afternoon included presentations from UOSSM representatives Khaula Sawah, Dr. Saleem A-Nuaimi, as well as insightful talks by Dr. Hani Mowafi from Yale University and Joseph Baugniet from our partner organization, MSF (Doctors without Borders).   

UOSSM-Canada Expands its Tele-Health Program

UOSSM-Canada's tele-health program, in collaboration with SAMS, allows medical professionals to provide much needed medical advice and instruction to poorly resourced medical workers in Syria's under siege towns. Now, the program is gearing up to expand its tele-health to include radiology services. Launching in February, with the  outreach help of the Muslim Medical Association of Canada, the expanded tele-health program will add ten radiologists from the Toronto area. These radiologists will take shifts in order to provide 24/7 radiology services to Bab el Hawa Hospital, the largest trauma hospital, run by UOSSM. Currently there are no radiologists onsite at the hospital, therefore covering this urgent will go a long way in improving the level of medical services provided at the hospital. 


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. 


Profile piece on Dr. Anas Al Kassem in the Globe and Mail 

Check out the Globe and Mail's article on the incredible work Dr. Anas Al Kassem, along with the rest of the UOSSM-Canada team of medical professionals, are doing to help save lives in Syria.



A Big Thank You to our Friends at Not Just Tourists 

UOSSM-Canada is gearing up to send another container of valuable medical supplies to Syria and we are grateful to all of our donors. However, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the outstanding contribution of one of our most dedicated donors, Not Just Tourists, who have helped contribute over 3000 pounds of medical supplies to UOSSM-Canada in the past year and a half. Countless volunteers from the NJT team have worked hard to collect, pack, and deliver valuable medical supplies that will certainly go a long way to improve the lives of Syrians experiencing a catastrophic medical crisis. 

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