Doctors treat an injured man at the field hospital in Maaret Al-Numan, Idlib, one of the
hospitals set up and equipped by HIHS. Photo: Jack Hill, The Times
Government forces have been targeting hospitals and health clinics in Syria as retribution for treating the wounded; over half of the country’s public hospitals have now been damaged or destroyed and many health workers have left the country.
With many medical facilities destroyed or too dangerous to operate in, those doctors that remain are treating people in tents, basements and abandoned buildings.
HIHS is supporting more than 35 healthcare facilities across Syria to treat the wounded and maintain community healthcare, like the field hospital in Maaret Al-Numan which is providing vital emergency care to the people of the devastated town.
The charity sends everything from ambulances, anaesthetic machines, dressings and medications to volunteer doctors to develop hospitals and help train and support local medics.
In January 2013, the charity opened a Women and Children’s hospital in Atmeh, Idlib, which serves a combined local and refugee population of 45,000 people. It is the only specialist unit of its kind left in northern Syria and in the first month of opening had seen over 2000 children.
One of the first babies to be cared for at the neonatal unit at the hospital was baby Amal. Born eight weeks premature, her mother Leila went into early labour whilst making the dangerous journey from Homs, in the south of the country, to the northern city of Idlib.
Having lost her husband in the shelling of their home, Leila was travelling alone with her three children and the stress of the journey proved too much. Locals had to help Leila to deliver her baby on the roadside and she was brought with her new baby to the children's hospital for care.
Without the specialist medical facilities available at the neonatal unit, the chances of premature baby Amal surviving would have been very slim. Names have been changed to protect identities.
Amal, one of the babies cared for at the neonatal unit in the HIHS Children's
Hospital. Image courtesy of Jack Hill/ The Times
HIHS is continuing to expand its provision of medical services including reproductive healthcare, primary healthcare and emergency care so that more babies like Amal can be helped. The charity is working on opening more hospitals around Syria with focus on both acute trauma care and specialist care.
However we need more medical equipment, more drugs and the capacity to treat more patients, as well as resources to keep existing facilities operating. Please donate now to help us ensure we can do this.
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