More than 600,000 Syrians fleeing war have sought safety in Jordan, mainly in urban areas. As a result, the need for basic services such as healthcare has vastly increased.
The majority of refugees are living outside of camps, where they share space, resources and services with their Jordanian hosts. This has stretched the capacity of all public services – from health and education to waste collection and disposal. In November, the Jordanian authorities announced that Syrian refugees would have to pay for health services at public facilities.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a maternity hospital in Irbid, northern Jordan, providing free healthcare to help meet the needs of a large number of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. Ante- and postnatal outpatient consultations and basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care are available. Over 2,000 births were assisted in 2014. MSF extended services by opening a paediatric outpatient department in January, which conducted nearly 14,000 consultations. In October, MSF launched a mental health programme for children showing signs of distress from war and displacement and there were 351 consultations by the end of the year. A team also started a pilot project in mid-December, offering free medical care to Syrian refugees and underprivileged Jordanians with chronic diseases, mostly diabetes and hypertension, at a government clinic in Irbid. The aim is to ease the demand on local medical resources.
Trauma surgery in Ar Ramtha
Just a few kilometres from the border with Syria’s Daraa governorate, MSF provides emergency surgery for wounded Syrians in Ar Ramtha hospital. More than 1,300 major surgical interventions, many of them lifesaving, were performed on 538 patients. General inpatient care and physical therapy were also available, and more than 1,160 mental health consultations took place.
In March, MSF opened a post-operative care facility in Zaatari refugee camp. This 40-bed facility is for war-wounded patients transferred from Ar Ramtha and other hospitals in Jordan. Among the more than 460 patients admitted were 244 patients needing follow-up care for pain management and wound treatment. Mental health support and physical therapy are also offered.
Reconstructive surgery in Amman
MSF’s reconstructive surgery programme in Amman provides a critical service for victims – many of them children – of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Patients are referred through a network of doctors in the region and surgeons carry out orthopaedic, maxillofacial and plastic reconstructive surgery free of charge to help patients recover from devastating injuries. The team performed 1,369 surgical procedures in 2014, and Syrians accounted for 45 per cent of all admissions. An outpatient department also provides consultations for Syrians who have undergone operations elsewhere and need post-operative care. Mental health professionals ran a total of 8,000 sessions with patients in this project.
No. staff in 2014: 209 | Expenditure: €8.4 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 2006 | msf.org/jordan
Ahmed – Ahmed’s nine-year-old son and a friend were injured while playing with something they found: unexploded ordnance. Ahmed brought his son to Ar Ramtha for emergency treatment.
In Daraa they told me they could not treat the kind of injuries my son had. They did not have the right kind of equipment, and there was only one doctor. We were lucky. It only took 15 minutes to get to the border and we managed to get to the hospital within 25 minutes. His whole body was full of shrapnel; the largest injuries were on his leg. So far he has had seven surgeries, and we hope that his treatment is nearly finished.