November 18, 2013

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has opened a mother and child hospital for Syrian refugees in the northern Jordanian governorate of Irbid. MSF opened the hospital on November 13, in collaboration with the Jordanian Ministry of Health.There are over 540,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. Around 70 per cent live outside of refugee camps, straining the country’s health system, and reducing access to healthcare for Jordanian citizens. Irbid governorate is host to 120,000 refugees, the highest number in the country.MSF assessed the health of Syrian refugees living in Jordanian communities and found gaps in their access to mother and child health. MSF opened the hospital in response to these needs and the Jordanian appeal for international assistance.The new hospital provides maternity and neonatal hospitalization, as well as antenatal and postnatal outpatient consultations. In the coming weeks, a pediatric ward will open, and pediatric outpatient consultations will be offered.The MSF team in Irbid consists of around 40 local medical and support staff, and eight international staff.“Opening this hospital in Irbid aims to serve Syrian refugees living in host communities, helping to free up resources for locals,” said Marc Schakal, MSF head of mission in Jordan.“The MSF strategy is in support of Jordanian efforts, and is built to meet the crisis dynamics within the country. Our objectives are three-fold: to work with refugees inside camps, with refugees in host communities, and to treat those wounded in the ongoing violence.”

MSF has been working in Jordan since 2006. MSF treats patients affected by the Syrian conflict at a specialized surgical hospital in Amman. MSF also runs a specialized surgical project for trauma patients at Ramtha hospital and a pediatric hospital in Zaatari refugee camp.

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