syrian refugees

“I believe in miracles”: Treating casualties from the Syrian civil war

For more than four years, Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have treated severely injured Syrian refugees arriving in Ramtha, Jordan. As our time in the city comes to a close, Renate Sinke, a project coordinator from the Netherlands, remembers saving lives and limbs as part of a remarkable surgical programme.

Where will they sleep tonight?

Mohammed is leaning on his crutches at the fence of the clinic, a picture of total dejection.

“Can you help me? Please, please can you help me?”

We go back with him to his tent. The tent is in a transit camp for Syrian refugees on the Turkish/Syrian border. And the refugees – about 3,000 of them – have just been told they are being moved to another camp, an official, permanent camp, some 80 km away, tomorrow morning at 10.00 am. So they must pack their bags and get ready.

Non-Communicable Disease Challenges for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

In Lebanon, kilometers from the Syrian border, working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to address the needs of Syrian refugees with chronic, non-communicable disease (NCDs), spectacular complexity requires acknowledgement.

The treatment of chronic disease in humanitarian emergencies is reasonably new for MSF. It is reasonably new for the humanitarian and disaster health community as a whole.

We are here for them

I’m in Pozzallo, a small tourist town on the south coast of Sicily. In the past week, more than 700 people have arrived here – 373 on Tuesday, 300 on Friday and 100 on Sunday.

Our team is tired out after working day and night. The reception centre in Pozzallo was designed for just 180 people. Some of those arriving crossed the sea in rubber dinghies, others in wooden boats, but not one of the vessels were safe to travel in.

Hell on the other side of the sea

When I look at the sea, it no longer has the same meaning for me. When the sea is rough, I hope that they won’t set out, and I worry for those who have already left, whose fate we may never know. When the sea is flat, I know they will set out. I know there will be many of them, carrying with them a whole raft of hopes and illusions. Some will reach their destination. We will greet them by searching them like criminals, although they have little to confiscate.