SAMS members and volunteers frequently travel to Turkey to support Syrian refugees in need of basic health services, including dental care, and to support overwhelmed hospitals along the Turkey-Syria border. Volunteers come from a variety of medical fields including reconstructive and plastic surgery, psychiatry, physiotherapy, urology, pulmonology, general surgery, and more.
In addition to our dental medical missions, SAMS organizes training missions to Gaziantep, Turkey, to provide quality medical training to our few remaining health care providers in Syria. This program has trained more than 700 doctors, nurses, and medical technicians since its initiation and is critical to keep personnel on the ground equipped with the skills they need to save lives.
Deah Barakat Dental Clinic in Reyhanli:
On February 10, 2015, SAMS mourned the tragic loss of Deah Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan abu-Salha,19 in a shooting at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus. Deah and Yusor, students at UNC and UNC’s School of Dentistry, had participated on past SAMS medical missions to provide dental care for Syrian refugees in Turkey. To honor these inspiring humanitarians, SAMS established the Deah Barakat Dental Clinic in the Alsalam School in Rihaniyi, Turkey. Since its founding, the clinic has treated more than 9,000 patients, all of them children. In July, SAMS completed “Project Refugees Smiles,” Deah Barakat’s project for which he raised more than $500,000 through crowdfunding, which allowed for the purchase of 8 dental chairs. The medical mission brought 45 volunteers to the clinic who treated roughly 900 patients during their time. In July 2016, the second Project Refugee Smiles is planned to take place to continue the work of Deah Barakat with the help of his family and loved ones.