Supporting healthcare provision
As an initial response following the earthquakes, MSF supported 36 hospitals and health facilities, through donations of emergency kits, trauma kits medical supplies, and blankets. This includes facilities in Idlib, Atmeh, Azaz, Afrin, Mare’, Bab El-Hawa, among other towns. We also sent medical staff, including surgeons, to support hospitals dealing with the influx of wounded.
In 4 health facilities (hospitals and clinics) in Idlib governorate, we treated injured patients, and we increased the capacity of the hospitals we’re working in by adding triage tents in the outside wards.
In addition, we deployed our ambulances, and we supported 90 ambulances to facilitate the transfer of patients in need of emergency assistance to the closest health facilities. Two weeks after we have scaled up efforts deploying mobile clinics and distributing relief items to affected populations.
Two weeks after the earthquakes, MSF scaled up their efforts by deploying up to 14 additional mobile clinics in several reception centers and different camps across northwest Syria. The aim was to offer essential medical services to people affected and displaced by the earthquakes.
Mental health services
Our teams launched a mental health hotline that is accessible to people, that is being communicated in the community through our health promoters and mental health specialists.
In addition, we offered mental health services in the mobile clinics and health centres we support, and set up safe spaces for social and recreational activities for women and children. We also created a Psycho-social Care Unit strategy to support our staff, which were affected by the disaster.
Offering relief support to affected families
In Northwest Syria, MSF, along with local partners, distributed more than 110,800 relief items including heating kits, hygiene kits, kitchen kits and including more than 6000 tents and 37000 blankets. MSF also supported bakeries to provide more than 367000 bread to the affected people.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes due to the earthquakes and were left without access to their essential needs. Therefore, MSF was donating tents and started coordinating more with other organizations to organize shelter for newly displaced people.
Preserving dignity and access to healthcare
Due to the huge destruction of health facilities in the Afrin area, MSF has supported the Afrin hospital managed by a local partner and continued running mobile clinics in camps of newly displaced people. MSF shifted at this stage from the first aid psychological support to a more advanced mental health support to the affected people. Our team has also set up a mother and child space to provide privacy for lactating mothers in camps. In the Idlib governorate, MSF supports the referral of cold cases, supports 2 hospitals which have ICU and dialysis and a blood bank.
Construction of a new maternity in Jindires, Aleppo
Following the destruction of the maternity centre supported by MSF in Jindires, MSF is currently in the process of building a new maternity centre which will provide a safe and convenient space for pregnant women and new-borns, which will address the gap in maternal healthcare services in the area. In Idlib governorate, MSF is also rehabilitating three hospitals and PHCs, which it already supports in Salqin, Al-Maland and Heyr Jamous, after it was partially destroyed by the earthquakes.
Water and sanitation activities
In Idlib governorate, MSF provided water and sanitation activities in 18 camps for the newly displaced people. This included rehabilitating latrines, providing water trucking, installing water tanks, and supporting waste collection services. MSF also provided mobile latrines and water and sanitation support to camps receiving new IDPs. In Aleppo governorate, MSF collaborated with local partners to install latrines and water tanks, provided chemicals to a water treatment plant in Afrin city and provided clean water to people.
Donations/ MSF aid into northwest Syria
To continue our support, since the earthquakes, MSF brought in a convoy of 53 trucks including tents, winter kits and other essential items and distributed them to those who were affected by the earthquakes. In addition, 35 tons of medical items have been imported in preparation for scaling up of activities.
MSF is currently providing recreational activities and psychological aid to people, particularly children, who are residing in collective shelters in Aleppo governorate. The recreational activities provided by MSF are aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of the people living in these shelters. This can include activities such as games, sports, arts and crafts, and storytelling. These activities provide a much-needed distraction from the stressful and uncertain environment of the shelters and can help to build social connections and a sense of community.
Thousands of people got injured during the earthquakes and due to the severity of their injuries, emergency surgeries were performed to stabilize their condition. However, emergency surgeries typically prioritize saving the patient's life rather than focusing on cosmetic or mobility concerns. This means that many of the patients who underwent emergency surgeries may require follow-up and reconstructive surgeries to prevent scarring and mobility issues in the future. To address this need, MSF is currently supporting a hospital in Idlib governorate to provide follow-up and reconstructive surgeries to the affected people to help minimize the long-term physical effects of the injuries