MAY 2017

UOSSM Canada News

UOSSM Canada Presents New Data at Geneva Conference

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – UOSSM Canada discussed findings from the recently published UOSSM Syrian Hospitals Surveillance Study in March at an international conference at the University of Geneva. The conference was attended by several humanitarian organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Key findings of the UOSSM report show all 107 hospitals in Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hammah, Daraa, Quneitra, and Homs were hit at least once by a direct or indirect airstrike, and the average hospital was attacked three times. Three-quarters of the hospitals surveyed were ill-equipped to provide needed medical care, and more than half of all hospitals’ staff had no training to prepare for, respond to, or document airstrikes. The report also reveals an alarming scarcity of specialists in vascular surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery, and a shortage of the equipment required to perform these specialties.
Using USSOM’s findings, the conference panellists were able to define what constitutes effective data and how to use it to overcome challenges in emergency situations. To better illustrate the health crisis in Syria, the panel discussed the importance of collecting not only quantitative data, but also narratives from patients.
Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Chairman of UOSSM Canada, highlighted the urgency of advocating for healthcare in Syria “There are continuous attacks, and destruction, on hospitals. More than 800 medics have died so far. It’s a shame, after 6 years, to continue to talk about how to protect hospitals, and how to protect the medics.”

Read the full UOSSM Syrian Hospitals Surveillance Study here

UOSSM Canada and MMAC’s First Partnered Event a Success
UOSSM Canada and the Muslim Medical Association of Canada (MMAC) hosted their first event together on May 6th to discuss the medical crisis in Syria. Forty medical professionals attended the complimentary luncheon, where Dr. Hussam Alfakir, Dr. Anas Al Kassem, and Dr. Jamal Kouli offered their expertise and insight on the current medical situation in Syria.

The speakers discussed strategies for training, missions, telemedicine, data, and research, and attendees were invited to volunteer to support these strategies. Dr. Safwan Antabli, UOSSM Canada, commented “We had a lot of medical professionals in the room tonight, and to see them all eager to learn, and eager to help, gives UOSSM a new sense of motivation. The more brainpower we have, the easier it is to execute our strategies and to provide better healthcare in Syria.” 

To sign up for volunteer opportunities e-mail: [email protected]

Shipment of Medical Supplies from Canada Received in Syria 

A large shipment of needed medical supplies has arrived in Syria from Canada, thanks to the efforts of UOSSM Canada and Not Just Tourists (NJT). 

The two organizations work together to collect surplus medical and surgical equipment from Canadian hospitals and clinics and send it in shipping containers overseas to under-resourced hospitals in Syria. The partnership between UOSSM Canada and NJT was formed in 2015 and continues to grow.

Find more information about NJT and how you can donate medical supplies here

UOSSM Canada Conducting Research to Improve V.A.C. System
Vacuum Assisted Closure (V.A.C.) systems are a unique form of wound treatment that uses negative pressure therapy. These systems create an environment that promote wound healing by promoting granulation tissue formation and perfusion, preparing the wound bed for closure, reducing edema, drawing wound edges together, and removing infectious material. UOSSM Canada is involved in continuing research to adapt and perfect this system for use in conflict settings.  

UOSSM Canada Achieves Charity Status
Thanks to the effort and dedication of its members, UOSSM Canada was granted charity status by the Government of Canada on March 23rd. As a registered charity, UOSSM Canada will be able to issue official tax receipts to donors, and will be eligible for a wider range of grants and other sources of funding. Congratulations to the members of UOSSM Canada who worked hard to ensure the organization met the requirements to achieve this status!

Donate Now
*Tax Deductible
UOSSM Canada in the News:
UOSSM International News

15 Syrian Hospitals Targeted in April 

April was an especially destructive month for hospitals and medical facilities, as 15 of them were attacked and put out of service. Several were attacked multiple times, leaving tens of thousands without access to medical care. The photo to the right shows Kafr Zeta Specialty Hospital, which was built by Dr. Hassan Al Araj, who was killed last year in a targeted attack. The hospital was attacked three times in two days until it was finally completely destroyed.

UOSSM Participates in Press Conference on Internationally Banned Chemical Attacks, Organized by Syrian NGOs in Gaziantep
Members of the Syrian NGO Coalition, including UOSSM, held an emergency press conference in Gaziantep on April 4, in response to the targeting of the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib by a chemical agent, which killed more than 100 people and injured over 400. Most of the victims were women and children. The press release was read by members of the coalition demanding urgent action to protect civilians and medical personnel in Syria.

France Sends a Half Ton of Emergency Drugs for Chemical Weapons Injuries


In response to the chemical weapons attacks in Khan Sheikhoun and other areas, the French Government sent a half ton of medications, masks, filters, anti-sarin drugs, and protective suits to Syria. The supplies were distributed to UOSSM hospitals, where staff will be provided with training on how to use the equipment and respond to chemical weapons attacks.

UOSSM Germany Officially Joins UOSSM International

A group of German doctors founded the German Association of UOSSM, based in Berlin. The chairman of the organization is Dr. Riad Al-Kassar. Dr. Ayham Al-Zu'bi is Deputy, and Dr. Samer Al-Sufi is Secretary General. The members of the organization joined the Board of UOSSM International, and participated in the General Assembly of the Union in Geneva, which approved the transfer of the headquarters of UOSSM from Paris to Geneva.

UOSSM Contributes to the Strengthening of Emergency Services of Six Hospitals in Aleppo Supported by Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Humanitarian Foundation (RAF)
UOSSM, supported by Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Humanitarian Organization (RAF), provided drugs and consumables to six hospitals in Aleppo with the goal of enhancing emergency surgical services for four months. This initiative finished at the end of April. The hospitals selected were: Al- Rih Al-Mursala Hospital, Al-Huda Hospital, Al-Kinana Hospital, Al-Ma'abar Hospital, Al-Fardous Hospital, and Al-Hurriya Hospital (Maria'a).

25 Training Courses in Bab Al-Hawa in April
During the month April, the UOSSM Training and Qualification Centre hosted 25 training courses in its centres in northern Syria and Turkey. There were a total of 68 days of training, and 458 trainees. The courses included facilitation skills training (provided to the staff of three organizations in Turkey and Syria), and eight courses on emergency management of the wounded (provided to the staff of CRS & PIN organizations, and medics working in medical facilities). Courses on data collection and evaluation, nutrition, and child protection services were also offered.

UOSSM Opens Registration for Specialized Certification in Midwifery in Southern Syria
As part of the program to qualify more candidates in reproductive health, the UOSSM Training and Qualification Centre launched the Obstetrics Specialty Certification in midwifery in the Saida Institute for Midwifery and Nursing in Daraa. This program is in cooperation with the Directorate of Qualification and Training in the Daraa Health Directorate. The main objective of the program is to train new staff to reduce the shortage in southern Syria. The goal is to train 200 midwives. The program will have two six month semesters of intense training in hospitals in Daraa. Graduates will be awarded a certificate issued by the Ministry of Health after completing the required examinations.

UOSSM’s Emergency Response to Support Daraa Hospitals in Southern Syria

As part of an emergency response to support Daraa hospitals, UOSSM provided monetary support of the staff of Issa Ajaj Hospital, which provides services to more than 10,950 beneficiaries per month, as well as emergency support for 20 hospitals in Daraa and Quneitra.

Dr. Raphael Pitti and Dr. Ziad Alissa Provide a Training Course on the Use of Emergency Drugs Against Chemical Injuries

UOSSM responded to the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun by providing training to respond to chemical weapons attacks. On April 12, the medical staff at Bab Al-Hawa Hospital completed a training workshop on the use of emergency equipment and drugs against chemical weapons injuries. Training was provided by the Scientific Advisor of the Training Department, Dr. Rafael Pitti, and the UOSSM Chairman of Training Committee, Dr. Ziad Alissa.

UOSSM Partners with WHO to celebrate World Health Day in Gaziantep
On April 7th, UOSSM participated in a World Health Day event sponsored by WHO, titled Together Against Depression. The event consisted of presentations, including one by UOSSM Psychiatrist Nora Al Ahmad, and short skits by children about the effects of depression on children, among other activities. The event was attended by officials from WHO, the UOSSM Director of the Turkish Region, and members of the two organizations and staff working at Al-Sankari Foundation in Gaziantep.



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.


  • FULLY operates Bab Al-Hawa Hospital; Major Referral hospital in Northern Syria / serves 14,000+ patients and conducts 1,300+ surgeries per month
  • Partially supports 120 hospitals and 200 medical points with $13M annually in medications and consumables sufficient to operate 130,000 surgeries
  • Treated 825,000+ patients at our 9 primary health care centers and 9 mobile clinics with over 1 million consultations and visits a year
  • Delivered 2,872+ newborns at the Bernas Maternity Hospital and other UOSSM specialized maternity centers in one year


Operates 16 Field Hospitals Serves 50,000 patients monthly

Trained 7,100 students in emergency medicine

2,500 patients served

Subscribe to our mailing list