My job is to manage IDA’s health clinics in Northern Aleppo. I leave my home in Kilis in Turkey at 7:30 am and cross the border into Syria. I arrive at my workplace – the IDP camps – an hour later, and throughout the day I move from camp to camp to follow up on the medical cases. I spend most of my time at the Primary Health Care (PHC) centers. The Al-Rayyan PHC requires a constant follow up because of the large number of patients.
The PHCs offer , leishmaniasis and GP services to treat injuries, burns and emergencies. On the long-term level, we work on equipping the PHCs so they can provide high-quality medical services like medications, excellent examination sets and an internal patient referral system.
The situation on the ground changed alot since February of 2016 when the area became heavily contested. There were a large number of IDPs who gathered in tents along the Syrian-Turkish border. They were so many people, along with a large need for security, food, water and medical services. We brought in a new medical point to Yazibagh to cover the new concentration of people there.
There are many difficulties because today people are coming from ISIS controlled areas on a daily basis. Medically speaking, they have many diseases because of the long movements like scabies, lice and diarrhea which need to be taken care of.
There are also difficulties because Syrians are not accustomed to waiting for aid to receive their food and water. They need work, even if it is simple. They do not depend on others. Sometimes on my job I encounter the very poor, they ask for jobs to be able to afford their daily expenses for their children. At al-Rayyan camp, one beneficiary I will always remember is a woman whose husband was killed in the war and she remained behind with her little children. they do not have anyone to support them and were in need of milk and food. The mother works in the agricultural fields in order to provide for her children.
I stay at the camps until 4:30 in the afternoon and then go back home in Turkey. We feel sad for our people who sleep nowhere, under trees and even in tents, because our people are not used to this. The situation is miserable and all of us have to collaborate and work hard to provide services for our deeply sad people.
Under my watch, the most important thing is to have people feel secure enough so they can remain in one place where there are PHCs, schools and vaccines.