The 16 Syrian doctors and nurses who work at the mobile clinic in Kilis, near the Syrian-Turkish border have seen many terrors in their country’s civil war. Since the clinic’s opening, they have been employing their skills to help their fellow Syrians fleeing the country.
The clinic, run by Malteser International, the Worldwide Relief Agency of the Order of Malta for Humanitarian Aid, in cooperation with the International Blue Crescent, is the first of several planned measures to grant refugees access to health care in Turkey. Kilis’ population has doubled with the influx of refugees over the past two years, so health services are overstretched.
“The idea is that the Syrian refugees that cannot be kept at the hospital for a long time because of the intake of Turkish patients are moved to the clinic and continue to receive the care they need to recover,” explains Dr. Boris Budosan, Malteser International’s mental health advisor. “The clinic provides rehabilitation to those with war injuries and chronic problems like diabetes, while also providing post-natal care and checkups,” Budosan says. “At the hospital, we also have two psychologists and a social worker. We provide psychological first aid and basic psycho-social support to help improve their resilience and basic coping skills.”
Local Turkish authorities have praised the project and Malteser International’s support. “It is our human duty to help the Syrian people in these troubling days”, said Mehmet Abdi Bulut, Mayor of Kilis, at the opening of the clinic in early September. “We hope that the war in Syria will finish and that Syrians can live peacefully in their country. We will continue to help Syrian refugees with their needs and they are welcome here.”
Malteser International has been providing relief in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey since July 2012.
Photo: Michael Swan, courtesy of The Catholic Register