People in Need Helped Choose 10 Syrian Refugees in Jordan to Be Treated in the Czech RepublicPublished: Nov 12, 2012 Reading time: 6 minutes
Prague, Amman (7th November 2012) – Ten injured Syrians, who had fled to Jordan from the armed conflict, were transferred to the Czech Republic by transport military aircraft within the MEDEVAC Programme. Patients, who are from 10 months to 37 years old, will be treated in the General Teaching Hospital in Prague and in the Motol Teaching Hospital. PIN had helped with their selection in Jordan, but the final choice of the patients had been made on the spot by two Czech doctors. PIN had also arranged the transportation of medicines, clothes, medical equipment and baby food sent to the Syrians by their fellow countrymen living in the Czech Republic.
The PIN coordinator along with the Embassy of Czech Republic in Jordan and partners from the Jordan Health Aid Society, Jordan National Red Crescent Society and the French Field Hospital had chosen about 80 suitable patients since the first half of September. "Eventually, the Czech doctors had chosen 46 patients, of which they had examined 35 refugees in Amman and the rest right in the refugee camp in Zaatari in the North of Jordan. We had also provided medical records for the selected patients,” the PIN coordinator in Jordan said.
The photos from the MEDEVAC Programme can be found here.
The General Teaching Hospital in Prague traumatologist Filip Burget and the Motol Teaching Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Viktor Řeháček had chosen eight injured men and two women during their October visit. There are four children among them who suffer mostly from congenital disorders, and who were accompanied by their parents to receive treatment in the Czech Republic. The youngest girl, Huda Muhammad, is only ten months old.
Fourteen-month-old Muhammad, who suffers from a urologic disorder, came to the Jordan refugee camp in Zaatari from Syrian Daraa three months ago. “At first, we were moving from village to village trying to escape from air strikes and bombardment, which we were under during our way to the border. There was also shooting at the border as the people are restrained from fleeing the country by the government troops,”Muhammad's mother, who is accompanying her son to the Czech Republic for the treatment, recalls a distressing escape from the country. Nine-year-old Saleem, who also comes from Daraa, suffers from a congenital cardiac disorder. “My son underwent a surgery in Syria two years ago, but his condition has worsened. The hospital in Daraa was bombed out. The doctors who had been looking after my son escaped so he was left without medical care,”his father explains, and adds that they fled to Zaatari two months ago due to constant bombardment.
Thanks to the transport military aircraft provision, two more patients, who have to lie down during the transport, could have been included into the MEDEVAC Programme. “The chosen people have for example multiple ligament ruptures and splintered bones as a result of shooting, and some of the patients suffer from serious long-term illnesses such as bone tumours. It wasn't possible to treat these patients in Jordan appropriately, but their state of health will radically improve in the Czech Republic in the long-term,” PIN Desk Officer for Syria Jitka Škovránková said.
Representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Public Health, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic accompanied by the Czech Ambassadress in Jordan Ivana Holoubková, and the PIN representatives visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in Zaatari yesterday. They met the refugees as well as the officials from UNHCR, UNICEF, Save the Children non-governmental organization, or the French Field Hospital. “Unfortunately, the solution of the conflict has no end in sight,” Jaroslav Hruška, the First Deputy Minister of the Interior, explains the situation in the country. “There has been an internal armed conflict going on between President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces and the opposition since spring 2011. Therefore, our immediate priority is to provide the Syrian refugees with humanitarian aid,”he added.
The People in Need Organization addressed the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic with a request for help by means of the MEDEVAC Programme this spring. At the end of August, the first two patients were transported to the Czech Republic within the programme - twenty-five-year-old Mohammed and eleven-year-old Ahmed. “There is a great call for professional medical aid in Jordan. However, at the moment the demand cannot be satisfied due to the reduced delivery of medical care and overtasked medical facilities. The MEDEVAC Programme can help in such cases”,says Jitka Škovránková, and explains why PIN takes part in the MEDEVAC Programme: “Our advantage is that we do fieldwork and we are in touch with other medical organizations. Therefore, we are able to help with the access to the patients, their pre-selection, and logistics.”
Nevertheless, the MEDEVAC Programme would not work without the support of the Embassy of Czech Republic in Jordan which grants permits for travelling out of the country, return of the refugees back to Jordan and other necessary formalities.
The MEDEVAC Programme
The MEDEVAC Programme (an acronym for Medical Evacuation) is carried out by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic in a close cooperation with the Czech Ministry of Defence and the Czech Ministry of Health.The MEDEVAC Programme was launched in 1993 as a response to the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina followed by the armed conflict in Kosovo. The programme expansion to Syria was approved by the government in July this year. People in Need had already cooperated on the MEDEVAC Programme before, for example in Iraq.
The situation of the Syrian refugees and PIN’s aid:
The situation in Syria is constantly getting worse. There is one and a half million of internally displaced persons, who are lacking food, medicine and other fundamental resources to satisfy their basic human needs. They often live in schools, host families or simply under the open sky. The winter is getting close and these people are short of tents, woollen blankets, and clothes. According to the UNHCR there are almost 400 thousand officially registered refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, but the real number is probably at least twice as high. Help the victims of the conflict in Syria.
Aid can be sent directly to SOS Syria charity account
Account Number: 92329232 / 0300 CZK
Account Name: CLOVEK V TISNI, O.P.S.
IBAN: CZ17 0300 0000 0000 9232 9232
BIC (SWIFT): CEKOCZPP
While helping the Syrian conflict victims People in Need primarily focuses on providing health and psychosocial assistance and building of the infrastructure. It supplies medical equipment and medicines to the clandestine network of Syrian doctors – the Doctors Coordinate of Damascus (DCD) and also to the Union des Organisations Syriennes de Secours Médicaux (UOSSM) - the union of Syrian doctors. PIN supplies medicines and food to the internally displaced persons in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo as well. PIN also aids within the MEDEVAC Programme and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides a mobile emergency unit at the Syria-Jordan borders. We provide psychosocial assistance for the Syrian refugees in Jordan and the internally displaced persons in Damascus and its surroundings. We also assist the Syrian refugees in Iraq. We are building a water reservoir in Domiz Refugee Camp in the north of the country. People in Need Club of Friends relief fund has already donated 3 million CZK to help Syria. For more information about the PIN aid in Syria read here.
For further information please contact:
Marek Štys, PIN Relief Programmes Manager, +420 777 053 522