September 17, 2015
SAMS September Medical Mission to Jordan
Five dentists and four doctors joined the September medical mission to Jordan. This amazing group of volunteers took the time to visit refugee clinics and centers in Jordan, to provide services and support medical professionals and ongoing programs that, although overwhelmed, provide vital services to refugees in need. Take a look below to see what the day-to-day schedule looked like for volunteers!
Day 1: Al Zaatari Camp
On the first day, volunteers began their day at SAMS’s multi-specialty clinic in Al Zaatari Camp. The volunteers saw many patients and administered necessary care such as medication distribution, taking of labs, and conducting x-ray procedures. The recent sandstorms that plagued Middle East had a visible impact on the patients seen by our volunteers and many patients presented with respiratory issues as a result of the difficult conditions.
On their first day, volunteers shared the heartbreaking story of a patient visit to the clinic. A six year old girl came to the clinic alone without her parents. When asked about the whereabouts of her parents, the girl responded that her older brother, Mohamad had brought her to the clinic. When the volunteers met Mohamad, they were shocked to find that the boy was only seven years old! Mohamad stated, “Mom is busy and I had to bring her here. I am the man on the family.” This brief interaction was a shocking introduction to the childhood so many of Syria’s children have lost.
Day 2: Travel to Three Clinics
Day two was very busy and filled with travel for the volunteers. The day started at Al Zaatari camp, and then took them to an Irbid clinic and ICU beds in the capitol, Amman.
The second day of the medical mission coincided with a visit by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to Al Zaatari camp. While this caused quite a stir in the camp, our volunteers maintained their busy schedule running several clinics, including medicine, pulmonary, psychiatry, hematology, oncology, and others. One young woman who visited the clinic came in for high blood sugar. However, it was soon discovered that she did not have a glucometer, a medical device that measures glucose levels in the blood that is vital for patients with elevated glucose levels. Our volunteers were able to provide the girl with a new device and one hundred needles and strips. During the day, our teams also distributed medications, treated many patients, and analyzed the current clinic system to brainstorm more effective and efficient options. At the end of the day some of the dentists on the trip were chased and tease by some of the children who had dental work done earlier in the day. The day ended in smiles and happy faces on all!
Day 3: Busy!
Day three was by far the busiest day of the mission. All clinics were running, including ophthalmology and obstetrics, and saw more than 80 adults and 93 kids. Our dentists ran two dental clinics that saw 45 patients! The psychiatry clinic followed up on patients in addition to seeing new patients. The x-ray machine saw some trouble, and was likely down because of its overuse! Photos below show the result of a busy day!
Before the day begins!
Empty after a full day of treatment!
Day 4: Irbid
On day four, our team visits Irbid again and treated several patients. Clinics offered during the day included pulmonary, psychiatry, and two internal medicine clinics. A dentist partner from Saudi Arabia co-ran the dental clinic with Dr. Rifai, the director of the AMR clinic. Others dentists were able to remain at Al Zaatari camp to finish up procedures there and one of our pulmonary specialists made the trip to Amman to visit ICU patients at a local hospital.
Thanks to SAMS donors, medicine and treatments supplied to and offered at the Irbid clinic were free of charge. Without these donations, clinics would struggle to provide care for Syrians in need. Staff on the ground were very welcoming and were eager to learn about the next SAMS medical mission! We look forward to continuing this much needed care.
Day 5: The Last Day
Come the end of the mission to Al Zaatari, everybody, both patients and children, knew the SAMS team. Dentists were no longer scary! Medical staff and ongoing programs on the ground were able to have some of their equipment reinstalled and fixed. The Pharmacy distributed more than 500 prescription medications. The mission gave out all boxes to the camp to help support the SAMS multi-specialty clinic. SAMS threw a thank you lunch to our clinic staff, who we are incredible thankful for and humbled by the work they do every day. We are proud to work together as one team!
On the last day, more than 90 kids, more than 40 dental patients, and more than 100 adult patients received treatment. SAMS also proudly recognized Dr. Abdel-Latif for his dedicated work.
While the team was sad to leave, they vowed to come back and bring even more amazing medical volunteers to help patients in need!