Restrictions on working and reductions in international aid have made it even harder for Syrian refugees living in Jordan to access healthcare.
One of the few stable countries in the region, Jordan has registered over 600,000 Syrian refugees (UNHCR, the UN refugee agency) since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, and its infrastructure is understandably under pressure. Since November 2014, Syrians have had to pay to access healthcare in public hospitals, but their resources have been diminishing as they are not allowed to work legally in the country. International funding has also decreased.
There is a huge need for treatment for non-communicable diseases and in 2015 MSF expanded a project offering care to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians with hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In Irbid governorate, activities continued at the Ministry of Health’s Ibn Sina primary health clinic and a second clinic, Ibn Rushd was opened in mid-April in partnership with a local NGO. Home visits were introduced in August. Over 20,000 consultations were conducted for new patients at these clinics over the course of the year.
A maternity and neonatal project run by MSF moved to a specialist hospital in January and emergency caesarean sections were performed there from February. By year’s end, the team had admitted over 3,900 pregnant women and assisted 3,400 deliveries. They also conducted mental health sessions with 274 patients, three quarters of whom had witnessed a violent death and a third of whom had lost a close relative and/or had their house destroyed. The neonatology intensive care unit (NICU) increased to eight beds, four incubators and four cots in 2015 and the team treated their first patient with nasal continuous positive airway pressure in September. A total of 498 babies were admitted to the NICU during the year.
Trauma surgery and post-operative care
MSF continues to treat war-wounded Syrians at Ar Ramtha government hospital, Irbid governorate, at the Syrian border. Working with the Ministry of Health, MSF provides emergency surgery and general inpatient care, as well as physiotherapy sessions and psychosocial support. In 2015, the team in the emergency room attended to 863 wounded patients, 315 of whom were admitted for surgery. They also undertook over 1,600 individual counselling sessions.
MSF runs a 40-bed post-operative facility in Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq governorate, which admits patients from Ar Ramtha and other Jordanian hospitals for rehabilitative and convalescent care. More than 1,540 psychosocial sessions conducted in 2015.
Reconstructive surgery in Amman
The reconstructive surgery project in Amman offers orthopaedic, plastic and maxillofacial surgery, along with physiotherapy and mental health support, primarily to war-wounded patients from neighbouring countries who would not otherwise be able to access specialised care. In February, the project moved to a new hospital where surgeons performed over 880 surgical interventions. A network of doctors in the region refers patients and this year 58 per cent were from Syria, 30 per cent from Iraq and 7 per cent from Palestine. MSF opened a fully equipped microbiology laboratory in the hospital to improve the quality of care for patients with infections resulting from their injuries. Antibiotic-resistant infections are a common and important medical challenge in the region. The opening of the laboratory will improve the quality of medical interventions for patients with conflict injuries that have infectious complications.
No. staff in 2015: 529 | Expenditure: €12.9 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 2006 | msf.org/jordan