Before the Atmeh Women and Children’s Hospital was built, one of its doctors routinely delivered babies on her kitchen floor. This rough entry is now the norm for Syrian newborns: according to WHO estimates, over half the country’s hospitals are destroyed or unusable.
Established by Hand-in-Hand for Syria, the Atmeh hospital in northern Syria is one of the rare exceptions, providing life-saving specialty care for 45,000 Syrians, including “premie” infants whose chances of unaided survival are slim to none.
The hospital is one of six opened by the UK-based charity in the last two years: another children’s hospital and a large general hospital with seven specialist clinics in Jebel A-Zawiyeh, Idlib, two hospitals in Damascus, and one in Deir Az-Zour. Hand-in-Hand also brings medical supplies to over 70 hospitals, field hospitals and medical points across the country, and as of November, had delivered 32 ambulances as well.
“For the most difficult to reach areas, this [aid] has to be smuggled in on the backs of motorbikes,” HiH member Hoda Abdelhady explains. “Since you can’t just drive a convoy of vehicles into cities under attack, we have to be creative about how we get them in.”
For more info – Hand-in-Hand’s website