By Dr. Zaher Sahloul, MedGlobal President & Co-Founder
I remember clearly my last visit to Syria. In January 2020, I walked through the muddy fields of one of the hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in northwest Syria, in the thick of freezing winter. Around me was a sea of tents.
Walking through a camp, I met a woman named Nada, recently displaced with her 6 small children. Her family shared one room with three other families, in a deserted building they used as temporary shelter. When I asked Nada what her family needed most, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Everything.”
I think often about Nada and others I met. With a health system destroyed from war and now strained by COVID-19, local health workers have told me that a health catastrophe may be imminent.
In 2020, MedGlobal responded in Syria with critically-needed health support:
- Alongside partners, we began installing 2 major oxygen generator stations in northwest Syria, which will help supply hospitals leading in COVID-19 treatment with critically-needed oxygen. This oxygen supply will have a lasting impact for local communities.
- We’ve supported vulnerable Syrian families in the Atmeh IDP camp with personal hygiene kits and health services. Many of these families have been displaced 3 or 4 times.
- We have provided health facilities and isolation centers all over the country with critical supplies like oxygen concentrators and PPE, based on local needs. Access to healthcare and protection for the few health workers still in Syria is absolutely essential.
Our core belief guides our work: no one should go without access to healthcare.
Before I left Idlib last January, I asked the children of the IDP camp what their dreams were for the future. More than half of the children in the camp wanted to be doctors.
What I wish for Syrian children in 2021 is hope. I wish for them happy, healthy futures. This is why MedGlobal provides healthcare in Syria and around the world.
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