Today on World Humanitarian Day, join us in commemorating and celebrating medical workers from around the world who have committed their lives to saving others, often at great cost and risk to themselves and their families.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, medical workers have been subjected to relentless attacks, including the use of chemical weapons and targeting of medical facilities, leading to loss of life, reduced access to health care for millions of people, and attrition of skilled medical healthcare workers. According to Physicians for Human Rights, there have been 595 attacks on at least 350 medical facilities, killing 923 medical personnel.
These blatant violations of international humanitarian law and sheer disregard for human life have continued with impunity. Despite relentless attacks on healthcare in Syria and the failure of the international community to meaningfully address this issue, our brave medical workers have continued to care for the sick and injured, risking their own lives to save others. Their bravery and selflessness constantly inspire us to ensure that no one is left untreated in the face of this humanitarian crisis.
“It’s critically important that we continue to support humanitarian workers. We must work together to support and protect them, and ensure that they have adequate resources to carry out their work.”
– David Lillie, SAMS’ Executive Director
Meet some of our real-life- heroes:
Sahar al-Shallah, one of our nurses in Idlib was displaced from Ma’arat al-Numan last year following the escalation in her hometown. Prior to her displacement, Sahar was working at SAMS-supported Ma’arat al-Numan Hospital. “During the evacuation of patients from the hospital due to the repeated targeting of the facility, I sustained severe leg injuries that prevented me from returning to work sooner…READ MORE
Faten Razzouq is one of our veteran nurses at SAMS-supported Bab Al-Hawa Hospital in northwest Syria. “As a nurse in Syria, I have seen it all, from targeting hospitals and schools to chemical weapons attacks. But I’ve pledged an oath to serve these innocent people who have nothing to do with this conflict. That’s why I keep doing what I’m doing,”…READ MORE
Dr. Hamza Al-Issa
Dr. Hamza Al-Issa is a SAMS assistant surgeon in Idlib. “When our hospital was attacked in an airstrike that led to the destruction of the facility, all I could think about at the moment were my patients and colleagues. We had to pull each other out from under the rubble. It was one of the worst experiences of my life,” he…READ MORE
This year’s World Humanitarian Day comes as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontline healthcare workers have been an integral part in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Their dedication and bravery deserve our deepest gratitude. In the United States, supported by our vast network of members and medical professionals, SAMS delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals in states hardest hit by the pandemic, while also providing healthy meals to frontline medical workers and cash appreciation awards to nurses.
Compounded by the advent of COVID-19, the current situation in northwest Syria has resulted in a steep deterioration in humanitarian conditions for the millions of people who have been forced to leave their homes. As a result, SAMS continues to expand its operations to reach as many people as possible. SAMS currently supports 40 medical facilities and nearly 2,000 medical workers in northwest Syria, who together are providing an average of 150,000 services a month, including approximately 1,600 newborn deliveries, nearly 6,000 surgical procedures, and over 460 dialysis sessions.
This World Humanitarian Day, join us in celebrating and standing with real-life heroes around the world who continue to work amid conflict and pandemic. Please consider making a gift to SAMS in support of our heroic medical workers in Syria and beyond.