For Immediate Release
April 18, 2016
Washington, D.C.- This week, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) has launched SAMS Global Response (SGR), a global platform that seeks to provide quality healthcare to refugees and affected populations by leveraging its expertise in leading and organizing medical missions in challenging confirms and network of medical professionals.
SGR focuses on addressing key urgent needs using innovation, specialized medical care and advocacy. In partnership with Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM), SGR’s first medical mission is taking place in Idomeni, Greece this week from April 17- 22, and on a weekly basis afterwards.
“Through theses medical missions, we seek to serve the medical needs of Syrian and other refugees in Greece by sending a group of doctors, nurses, medics, mental health specialists, and dentists to several camps,” said Dr. Naveed Iqbal, UK-based doctor and vice chairman of SGR steering committee. “Additionally, we are looking into opening several clinics and hiring local healthcare providers to provide consistent medical care to camped refugees.”
During SGR’s first medical mission to Greece, and in collaboration with UNHCR and the Greek Ministry of Migrants, a group of eight doctors, and nurses, of different specialties from the U.S., Europe, and Saudi Arabia traveled to Greece for a week to provide medical care in mobile clinics to refugees in Idomeni and Eco camps in northern Greece.
According to UNHCR, more than 55,000 refugees are currently in Greece living in 15 different makeshift camps around the country. The main refugee camp is located in Idomeni, where more than 10,000 people, including 4,000 children, are living in dire conditions at an informal settlement at the border with Macedonia. The majority are Syrian families who have fled war-torn Syria seeking refuge in Europe.
Last month, Dr. Zaher Sahloul, SGR Chair, traveled to Greece to lay the groundwork for the current medical mission to Greece. He recently spoke with about his experience and the people he met along the way.
“Today, the world is witnessing the worst refugee crisis since World War II,” said Dr. Zaher Sahloul. “When they arrive in Greece after a long and dangerous journey, refugees spend 45 days to two months, sometimes even longer, at these makeshift camps with no access to quality healthcare. It is our duty to address their medical needs and galvanize the international community to act now and put an end to this tragedy.”
To support SGR, please donate here.
For regular updates, please follow SGR on Twitter @SAMSGlobalR.
For media requests, please contact SAMS’s Media Manager Lobna Hassairi at [email protected]