In 2019 MAGNA, in cooperation with its partners continued its health intervention in northwestern Syria, one of the largest hospitals for obstetrics, reproductive health, and gynaecological surgery, near the IDP camps around Atmeh, where there are hundreds of thousands of displaced people in need.
The intervention increased Al-Ekha hospital’s capacity to make it able to respond to the local population’s needs and improve access to reproductive and infant services and specialized comprehensive emergency obstetrics and newborn care. This helped reduce maternal mortality and improve health care statistics for the hospital’s full operation, and provide health care material, equipment, and operation for the newborn and paediatric department.
The situation in the country
Over nine years, the Syrian conflict has recorded hundreds of thousands of victims killed or wounded, massive population displacement, inconceivable destruction of infrastructure, and colossal civilian suffering. The number of deaths is assessed at over 500,000 lives, including over 225,000 civilians.
The direst situation is in the northwestern part of Syria, in Idlib province and the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama. OCHA estimates four million people live in northwestern Syria, of which 2.8 million require humanitarian aid. It is believed that women and children account for 76% of this population. The areas are under the control of rebel forces and Islamic militants, with more than half of all residents internally displaced more than once. Access to services is very limited. The Syrian government military’s main operations have targeted this area in various campaigns throughout 2019. Syrian government forces have successfully taken new areas that had been under rebel control. Military operations often hit populated areas, creating many civilian casualties, with some targeting health facilities and personnel.
As of December 2019, OCHA reported that an escalation of violence and intensive air rads, particularly in the southern and eastern part of Idlib, led to displacement of over 312,000 (nearly 700,000 by the end of January 2020), 80 percent of which are women and children.
Al-Ekha hospital, Atmeh
The Al-Ekha hospital lies close to the Syrian-Turkish border, immediately by the Atmeh camps, in Dana in Idlib province. These are the largest camps in northwestern Syria, with populations numbering over 300,000. The hospital has two operation theatres and two obstetrics theatres, with facilities for high-risk pregnancies, post-natal care, and post-operative care, with an incubator department capacity of 6 incubators functioning constantly. This is the main centre admitting cases from nearby health centres, mobile clinics and community health workers.
MAGNA intervention was aimed at supporting essential needs of Atmeh camp populations, chiefly for the internally-displaced, those returning, and the local host population. The primary purpose was filling gaps in providing health services, so the hospital could ensure consultations and birthing with all associated services for women along with newborn consultations in one of Syria’s most heavily populated areas.
MAGNA has been working in Syria since 2016.
ACTIVITIES IN NUMBERS
PAEDIATRIC PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED
In 2019 MAGNA expended € 310,710 in Syria on operating health programs and humanitarian assistance.