Jordan has registered over 650,000 Syrian refugees since 2011, according to the UNHCR. Lack of proper legal documentation, financial constraints and border closures mean that their access to healthcare is extremely limited.
In March 2016, MSF opened a clinic in Ramtha city to cater for the many refugees and vulnerable Jordanians requiring treatment for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The clinic offers medical care, home visits and psychosocial support to 1,500 patients, around 25 per cent of them Jordanians, and provided 9,022 consultations this year. In April, MSF introduced psychosocial support in its two-year NCDs project in Irbid governorate. In 2016 alone, over 25,500 consultations, including home visits, were conducted by the two Irbid clinics in this project. A total of 3,643 patients arereceiving consultations for NCDs in the context of the programme.
In September, MSF started supporting the comprehensive primary healthcare centre in Turra, Sahel Houran, Ar Ramtha, providing outpatient consultations, maternal healthcare, mental health support and health education for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. The team had conducted 3,083 consultations by the end of the year.
More than 75,000 Syrians – 75 per cent of them women and children – are stranded at the northeastern border of Jordan (known as the Berm). From 16 May, MSF operated mobile clinics in Rukban, focusing on children under five and pregnant women. Over 3,500 consultations were carried out in 23 days. After an attack near the Berm on 21 June, access to the border was halted. MSF has since been engaged in active negotiations to regain direct access to the Berm so teams can respond to the urgent medical needs of the people living there.
MSF is the main reproductive healthcare provider for Syrian refugees in Irbid governorate. In 2016, the maternity and neonatology intensive care unit at the hospital extended its capacity for ante- and postnatal consultations. The team assisted 3,663 deliveries, admitted 658 newborn babies to the unit and carried out 14,848 antenatal consultations. MSF also provides mental health support to children under the age of 18 through the project.
The medical evacuation of war-wounded Syrians to Ramtha hospital was greatly affected by the Jordan government’s decision to close the borders in June. However, MSF continues to work with the health ministry to provide emergency surgical and post-operative care to the limited number of war-wounded patients that are admitted to the hospital. In 2016, MSF treated 369 war-wounded patients and undertook over 1,239 individual counselling sessions. Due to the border closure, fewer patients arrived at the 46-bed post-operative care facility in Zaatari refugee camp. Consequently, MSF was forced to close the facility in December. Prior to its closure, 126 patients were treated and more than 1,283 psychosocial sessions were conducted.
The Amman reconstructive surgery hospital treats war-wounded patients and indirect victims of violence from war-torn neighbouring countries. The hospital provides holistic care for patients requiring orthopaedic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery, including physiotherapy and mental health support. In 2016, 1,055 surgical procedures were performed, and an average of 180 patients were present in the hospital at any one time.
No. staff in 2016: 403 | Expenditure: €16.2 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 2006 | msf.org/jordan
Doctor Mohammad El-Momani – Emergency room doctor at MSF Ramtha surgical project, Jordan
In June 2015, I joined MSF in Ramtha district as an emergency room doctor and a supervising doctor for the inpatient department responsible for receiving emergency cases from Syria. All those cases were critical war injuries caused by missiles, explosive barrels, mines or bullets.