Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Humanitarian’ Category

Jordan | Syrian Arab Republic: Dara’a, Qunaitra, Sweida Flash Update as of 7/2/18

RW

Highlights

  • Sustained hostilities in south-west Syria since 17 June have led to the displacement of an estimated 271,800 individuals as of 2 July. Of those, approximately 60,000 displaced to areas in close proximity to the Nasib/Jaber border crossing with Jordan, including the free zone, and some 164,000 IDPs have moved towards camps and villages in Quneitra, close to the Golan Heights area.
  • Since the start of military operations, the UN has received reports of dozens deaths, including women and children. Additional reports also suggest indiscriminate attacks on health facilities, schools, civil defense centers and offices of local NGOs.
  • On 1-2 July, the UN provided humanitarian assistance to displaced individuals at the Jaber/Nasib border area in Jordan. The 37-truck convoy carried sufficient water and NFI stocks to cover the needs of an estimated 35,000 people.

 

 

Highlights  Sustained hostilities in south-west Syria since 17 June have led to the displacement of an estimated 271,800 individuals as of 2 July. Of those, approximately 60,000 displaced to areas in close proximity to the Nasib/Jaber border crossing with Jordan, including the free zone, and some 164,000 IDPs have moved towards camps and villages in Quneitra, close to the Golan Heights area.  Since the start of military operations, the UN has received reports of dozens deaths, including women and children. Additional reports also suggest indiscriminate attacks on health facilities, schools, civil defense centers and offices of local NGOs.  On 1-2 July, the UN provided humanitarian assistance to displaced individuals at the Jaber/Nasib border area in Jordan. The 37-truck convoy carried sufficient water and NFI stocks to cover the needs of an estimated 35,000 people.

Situation Overview
Since the start of military operations in south-west Syria, the UN has received dozens of reports of civilian deaths, including women and children. Additional reports also suggest indiscriminate attacks on health facilities, schools, civil defense centers and NGO offices. Most health and educational facilities in southern Syria remain closed due to widespread airstrikes and hostilities on the ground.
Sustained hostilities since 17 June have led to the displacement of an estimated 271,800 individuals within non-state armed group-controlled areas in Dara’a and Quneitra governorate as of 2 July. Of those, approximately 164,000 IDPs have moved towards camps and villages in Quneitra, close to the Golan Heights area, while some 60,000 have been displaced to areas in close proximity of the border with Jordan, including the Nasib/Jaber border crossing and the Free Zone. The Governments of Jordan and Israel continue to maintain the borders closed and have announced that Syrian IDPs will not be permitted to cross into their respective countries.
The living conditions of IDPs stranded at the Jordanian border are severe, with IDPs lacking shelter and basic items and subject to dusty desert winds and high temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius. The displaced lack regular access to clean drinking water and healthcare, and local sources on the ground report that at least twelve children, two women, and one elderly man died in areas close to the Jordanian border due to scorpion bites, dehydration and diseases transmitted through contaminated water. Some critical medical cases, however, have been able to seek treatment at medical facilities in Ramtha and Irbid in Jordan.
Between 29 June and 1 July, in response to intense air and ground-based strikes on various areas of Dara’a governorate, the local populations of several areas located in south-eastern Syria, such as Jizeh, Mseifra, Sayda, Kahil, and Tiba, pre-emptively left their towns for areas they perceive to be safer. The coinciding displacement of humanitarian workers from the area and the high fuel prices and/or lack of fuel have impacted the ability of humanitarian organizations to relocate humanitarian supplies in eastern Dara’a to the new areas of population concentration.

Since the Government of Syria (GoS) announced the establishment of four “corridors” on 27 June, through which individuals can move towards GoS-controlled areas, some initial estimates indicate that 12,000 to 15,000 people have reportedly crossed into GoS-held areas in Dara’a governorate. Many of the IDPs are making their way towards the Jbab shelter, with approximately 2,500 people still at the shelter, whilst others have left towards areas in which they can stay with host communities and secure alternative shelter arrangements. As of 30 June, there have reportedly been 80 medevac cases from Jbab to hospitals in Damascus, and some 400 families have moved onwards to Rural Damascus. An estimated 2,000 people have also crossed into Sweida governorate.

Humanitarian Access

Humanitarian Access (on hold): Since 27 June, the UN has not been able to proceed with humanitarian cross-border convoys due to ongoing hostilities and lack of security guarantees from the parties. A convoy continues to be stationed at Ramtha ready to cross once security conditions allow  South-West Dar’a towards North-West Dar’a /Qunaitra (open)  West to East crossing inside Syria (open)  Ramtha UN convoy crossing point from Jordan remains open, with operations on hold.
Jordan | Syria: Humanitarian Situation in Dar’a, Qunaitra and Sweida, Flash Update, as of 2 July 2018

Humanitarian cross-line access (requiring access approvals): The United Nations and its humanitarian partners stand ready to respond through cross-line deliveries from inside Syria. These require access permissions from the Government of Syria.

Medical evacuations (partial): Medical evacuations of urgent cases who require treatment in Jordan require the permission of the Government of Jordan. Negotiations to secure access for emergency medical evacuations remains ongoing, with twelve cases treated at the Ramtha and Irbid hospitals.

Commercial and civilian access routes between Dar’a and Qunaitra and Sweida (suspended):
Many commercial and civilian access roads between the three southern governorates have been closed or became inaccessible. However, some crossings remain open for civilian and commercial movements.  The Sweida road is reported to be closed, preventing the replenishments of markets.  Kherbet Ghazaleh (Gharia West): closed for commercial traffic  Kherbet Ghazaleh (Dael): closed for commercial traffic  Kafar Sham (Dier Bakhat): closed for commercial traffi Preparedness and Response  On 1-2 July, an inter-agency UN emergency convoy comprising 37 trucks (mobilized jointly by UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA and WFP) was dispatched to the border area in Jordan. The convoy carried sufficient water and NFI stocks for 35,000 beneficiaries (10,000 at the free zone and a further 25,000 beyond). On 1 July, 869 UNICEF family hygiene kits and 580 UNFPA dignity kits and 150 UNFPA clean home delivery kits were delivered to displaced communities at the Tower 58 crossing point. UNHCR partners provided health care services to approximately 40 patients at the free zone through a medical team comprised of one medical doctor, two nurses and a pharmacist assistant. A total of twelve cases were referred to the Ramtha and Irbid hospitals.  As of 30 June, WFP, through partners on the ground, has distributed emergency food assistance sufficient for some 180,000 people, with some people receiving a second round of assistance. Deliveries include ready-to-eat rations (RTEs), regular food rations, and nutrition supplies for the prevention of malnutrition in children under two years of age. WFP, through its partners, also distributed 10,220 food rations sufficient for 51,100 people in Tal Shihab, in addition to 12,500 food rations sufficient for 62,500 people at the Nasib and Mataiyeh border area.  Core relief items, including basic shelter materials sufficient for 60,000 people, have been prepositioned. The UN stands ready to scale up response to people in need through the most direct routes wherever access allows.

For further information, please contact: Sarah Muscroft, Head of OCHA Jordan, muscroft@un.org Kristele Younes, Head of OCHA Syria, younes4@un.org

For more information, please visit www.unocha.org and www.reliefweb.int.


Syrian refugees fleeing the current government offensive face scorpion bites, dehydration, and contaminated water,

NY Times

  • At least 15 Syrians have died in camps near the Jordanian border because of “scorpion bites, dehydration and diseases transmitted through contaminated water,” according to a report published this week by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

  • Twelve of the dead were children; two women and one elderly man also died.

  • More than 320,000 people in the Dara’a region have been displaced by the fighting

  • Most are living in campsites near the Jordanian border and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights without adequate shelter, food or water.

  • Thousands are sleeping in the open desert.

 


Yemen’s humanitarian crisis can turn into a catastrophe with fighting at the port city of Hudaida

LA Times

  • Since early 2015, more than 10,000 people have been killed
  • Since 2015, some 2 million have been driven from their homes because of the fighting between a Saudi-led coalition and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
  • Some 22 million people, rely on aid
  • 8.4 million of them are facing famine.
  • The country has been plagued by the largest cholera epidemic in recorded history, with 1 million suspected cases
  • Meanwhile, Hudaida is home to about 600,000 people and a port responsible for 70 percent of imports into Yemen
  • The fighting in and around the port city could ignite a humanitarian catastrophe.


An Arab military coalition invaded Yemen’s main Red Sea port on Wednesday, worsening what is already the world’s most severe humanitarian disaster by disrupting the delivery of food and other supplies to millions of Yemenis.

NY Times


The Venezuelan health system: A total collapse

Lancet

“…..a 65% increase in maternal mortality and a 30% increase in infant mortality, with 11 466 infants dying during 2016. It also revealed that while Venezuela had been the first country in the world to eliminate malaria in populated areas, this and other diseases such as diphtheria, which had previously been controlled, had returned in several outbreaks.…..most laboratory services and hospital nutrition services are only available intermittently or are completely inoperative. Shortages of items such as basic medicines, catheters, surgical supplies, and infant formula are highlighted in the survey; 14% of intensive care units have been shut down because they are unable to operate and 79% of the facilities analysed have no water at all.……..”

 


Emergency Trauma Response to the Mosul Offensive, 2016-2017

Fox, H., Stoddard, A. & Davidoff, J. (2018). Emergency trauma response to the Mosul offensive, 2016-2017: A review of issues and challenges. Humanitarian Outcomes, March.

“…..Despite certain weaknesses and limitations, the WHO-coordinated response succeeded in implementing a
large-scale, military-style referral chain system in highly difficult conditions and unquestionably saved lives.
An independent analysis of the data performed by a research team at John Hopkins Centre for Humanitarian
Health estimates that the WHO-coordinated trauma referral pathway saved between 1,500 and 1,800 lives –
approximately 600-1,330 civilians and the remaining majority combatants.

The total number of people treated is impossible to independently verify. WHO reporting cites that as of 7 August
2017, ‘some 20,449 people from Mosul city were referred through the established trauma pathways’.  But these
figures include patients being counted multiple times as they passed through the referral pathway. The Iraqi
Department of Health estimated that 10,000 to 12,000 ‘medical activities’ were performed…….Despite these constraints, between October 2016 and November 2018, MSF performed 20,334 emergency room
consultations (of which 4,135 were ‘war trauma’3 cases and 1,594 were ‘red’ cases4) and 31,242 primary health care
consultations. These emergency room and primary health consultations resulted in 3,601 surgical interventions,
1,178 deliveries and 2,647 inpatient admissions……”

 case study by Johns Hopkins. :  Document

IRIN opinion


The Greek island of Lesbos: Migration crisis

NY Times

“…..Some 5,500 people are detained in Moria, about 2,500 more than the camp was designed to hold……..

Rain soaks through the tents, and there is a lack of electricity and hot water in the showers, even in winter. The public toilets and showers are soiled with feces. As bad as the food is, it often runs out. The lines — for everything — are endless. Fights break out constantly. Violence, theft and rape are constant threats……”

 


WHO renews its call for the protection of health workers and for immediate access to besieged populations.

WHO

Seven years of Syria’s health tragedy

News release

After seven years of conflict in Syria, WHO has renewed its call for the protection of health workers and for immediate access to besieged populations.

Attacks on the health sector have continued at an alarming level in the past year. The 67 verified attacks on health facilities, workers, and infrastructure recorded during the first two months of 2018 amount to more than 50% of verified attacks in all of 2017.

“This health tragedy must come to an end,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Every attack shatters communities and ripples through health systems, damaging infrastructure and reducing access to health for vulnerable people. WHO calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to immediately halt attacks on health workers, their means of transport and equipment, hospitals and other medical facilities.”

Health systems are being attacked in the very places where they are needed most. An estimated 2.9 million Syrians live in UN-declared hard-to-reach and besieged locations. WHO is providing health assistance to many of these areas but lacks consistent access.

In East Ghouta, nearly 400,000 people have lived under siege for half a decade. Basic health supplies have all but run out, and there are now more than 1,000 people in need of immediate medical evacuation.

“It is unacceptable that children, women, and men are dying from injuries and illnesses that are easily treatable and preventable,” said Dr Tedros.

Critical medical supplies are also routinely removed from inter-agency convoys to hard-to-reach and besieged locations. Earlier this month, more than 70% of the health supplies intended to reach East Ghouta were removed by authorities and sent back to the WHO warehouse. The items removed are desperately needed to save lives and reduce suffering.

Seven years of conflict have devastated Syria’s healthcare system. More than half of the country’s public hospitals and healthcare centres are closed or only partially functioning and more than 11.3 million people need health assistance, including 3 million living with injuries and disabilities.

WHO is committed to ensuring that people across Syria have access to essential, life-saving healthcare. Last year, WHO delivered over 14 million treatments across the country, including through cross-border and cross-line services.

“The suffering of the people of Syria must stop. We urge all parties to the conflict to end attacks on health, to provide access to all those in Syria who need health assistance, and, above all, to end this devastating conflict,” said Dr Tedros.


Venezuelan health crisis: At hospitals in border cities like Cucuta, patients are packed side by side on stretchers that spill into hallways, not much unlike the deplorable conditions they fled back home and authorities project that Venezuelan admissions to Colombian hospitals could double in 2018 and say the nation’s already overstretched public health system is unprepared to handle the sudden swell.

ABC


Nursing Now aims to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses worldwide – influencing policymakers and supporting nurses themselves to lead, learn and build a global movement.

NursingNow

Uganda, where the Government has joined with nursing, health and academic organisations to set out a Nursing Now road map for developing nursing and midwifery. This work is laying the groundwork for Nursing Now Africa.

Singapore, where the Government is running a campaign to promote nursing as an exciting career. They are creating new opportunities for nurses, celebrating their achievements and engaging nurses at the forefront of developing community services.

Narayana Health in India, where the founder Dr Devi Shetty and the Board have recognised the enhanced role that nurses can play and established a development programme for nurses. They are using nurses to lead the way in extending their services into Africa.

 

Rwanda, where a private organisation is working with the government to support nurse entrepreneurs providing vital services in the most rural areas.

Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paolo, Brazil, where nurses are engaging the many men who do not attend the basic health units for consultations. They are reaching out by going to bars to talk to people about how they can take better care of their health.

Jamaica, where the Government is working with partners to tackle violence against women and children as the first programme of Nursing Now Jamaica.

Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) in the USA, which is providing a multi-disciplinary service to support elderly people to live in their own homes.


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