Health

Since 2011, SRD has provided holistic health programs that address the physical and mental well-being of conflict-affected Syrians. Initially, SRD’s focus was on immediate first aid and trauma relief through Mobile Medical Points and later established regional hospitals that offer a variety of trauma, inpatient and outpatient services. In response to the rise in morbidity and mortality rates due to a lack of quality primary and reproductive health care, SRD further-established both stand-alone and integrated primary and reproductive health clinics and, more recently, an integrated focus on public health through community health programs that complement the multi-level health care network in place.

All of SRD’s health programs operate on a holistic, preventative continuum of care, ensuring that each patient receives follow-up care and access to comprehensive services that address both the physical and mental well-being of the patient. Without addressing health concerns on every level of the medical spectrum, neglected conditions affect other components of health and, ultimately, plague a once-thriving society. This has been the case with the shortage in physical therapy and rehabilitation programs, leading to mental health conditions such as depression, despondency and isolation from peers, later requiring intervention in the form of psychosocial support or advanced psychiatric care. SRD’s programs focus on early prevention through a holistic approach that addresses all aspects of care from a patient’s initial visit.

In 2016, SRD expanded its comprehensive reproductive and pediatric health care through additional care facilities—including 10 Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Care Clinics, 48 SRH Outreach Sites and 3 Maternity and Childhood Hospitals—and increased family planning and awareness services in Northern Syria.

At the 10 SRH clinics, specialized reproductive and pediatric care, including OB/GYN, antenatal, postnatal, neonatal, labor and delivery, emergency obstetric, family planning and referral services have made quality care easily accessible for women and children. Additionally, clinic staff members have been trained in the recognition, treatment and prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

At SRD’s 48 SRH Outreach Sites throughout Idleb and Aleppo, trained staff members conduct awareness sessions focusing on critical family planning issues including pregnancy, contraceptives (such as birth control pills, condoms and IUDs, all available on-site), breastfeeding, postnatal care, the recognition, treatment and prevention of SGBV, the prevention and treatment of Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STIs) and the promotion of routine OB/GYN visits. For added comfort and privacy, community members can request individual time with the instructors to discuss personal issues. And as part of the program’s informational outreach, a reproductive health publication, Balsam, that contains information on family planning, pregnancy and motherhood, is produced in Arabic and widely distributed throughout the communities.

SRD’s 3 Hospitals provide specialized Maternity & Children care through OB/GYN services in addition to Labor and Delivery, antenatal, natal and postnatal care and lactation support. Staff members are also trained in the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI), Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) and Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC). The hospitals receive women and children with a wide range of needs and use a comprehensive, holistic approach to addressing each patient’s individual needs. Many of the women are conflict-affected and a central part of care remains the recognition, treatment and prevention of SGBV and, in some cases, the Clinical Management of Rape (CMR).

SRD’s Primary Health Care (PHC) services extend to men, women and children alike through 17 fixed and 4 mobile health clinics that emphasize the prevention and management of acute and chronic conditions, in addition to 7 pharmaceutical distribution sites. Primary health care facilities offer a wide range of services, including:

Outpatient Delivery Services (OPD)–
same-day services—including consultations and follow-up visits with primary, secondary and tertiary health care providers—that are offered to the patient.

Immunization Services–
services that must be offered to children to ensure immunity and resistance to infectious diseases. SRD has committed to providing immunizations—such as Measles, Polio, Rubella, Hepatitis and others—at its facilities or ensure referral pathways in coordination with other immunization bodies in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and guidelines.

Communicable Disease (CD) Management–
poverty, collapsed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) systems, crowded living spaces, poor health and hygiene education and an overall lack of PHC services available in communities have increased the prevalence of CDs in Syria. Given their severe implications and consequences if left untreated, contagious nature and ability to transform into an epidemic in a short amount of time, the CDs that SRD has prioritized through prevention, diagnosis and treatment include Leishmaniasis, Cholera, Measles, Tuberculosis, Upper/Lower Respiratory Infections (RTI), Acute and Watery Diarrhea and Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STI).

Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Management–
SRD is focused on the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of NCDs which are chronic in nature, or long-term and slow to progress. The four main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and respiratory diseases.

SRD’s Aleppo and Idleb Regional Hospitals are two vital, life-saving facilities located in Northern Syria and have played an integral role in the growth of SRD’s Health sector programs. They are SRD’s longest-running health care facilities and serve as referral points for further care in local clinics, many of which are also part of SRD’s health care network. Both hospitals provide trauma and emergency services to men, women and children alike as part of their outpatient and inpatient services. The locations of the two facilities reduce hurdles in accessing free quality health care in Northern Syria. Both hospitals’ staff members consist of physicians, nurses and other medical personnel with a range of specialties.

Aleppo Hospital has been hit by aerial strikes several times since 2013, but its staff has persevered each time and continue to provide essential life-saving services at great risk to staff members. The hospital provides essential services in internal medicine, pediatrics, general, orthopedic and vascular surgery, OB/GYN, urology, ear, nose and throat (ENT), psychiatric care and other vital components of critical care.

Aleppo Hospital also provides trauma care to internally-displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Northern Syria in the western countryside of Aleppo, making health care more accessible to people who would otherwise have been forced to travel toward the Turkish border in search of quality care.

Idleb Hospital has emerged as an especially vital and life-saving facility for civilians deprived of health care options in the region as the targeting of medical facilities has increased over the past year, destroying many. The hospital offers services in inpatient and outpatient care, ENT, internal medicine and orthopedic and general surgery. Idleb Hospital also has a Radiology Department to perform x-rays, CT scans and Doppler Ultrasound procedures.

Trauma and emergency health care is also provided through SRD’s 21 Ambulance System, a network of ambulances in Northern Syria that ensure access to emergency health care and trauma services region-wide. The network provides patients in critical emergency care with transportation to trauma facilities while Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide life-sustaining treatment during transport.

SRD’s rehabilitative services include a Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Clinic housed within one of our Primary Health Care Clinics, which also houses an internally operating Dialysis Unit. Because the nature of many injuries sustained during the conflict include those that require follow-up rehabilitative care, SRD established these services in 2013 to help meet the demand for such care. The Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Clinic consists of the following specialized rehabilitative departments for adults and children: musculoskeletal injuries, cerebral palsy, amputation cases, brain/spinal injuries and burn wounds. In addition to these, the clinic also provides speech and hearing therapy, treatment for congenital abnormalities and deformities and the creation of splints and casts for injuries.

The Dialysis Unit provides dialysis service, a life-saving treatment that prevents the build-up of waste, salt and extra water in the body by removing them. With a shortage of access to treat two of the leading causes of kidney failure—diabetes and high blood pressure—in Syria, SRD has recognized the priority of maintaining dialysis service at our health clinic.