Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) opened on November 13 a mother and child hospital in the northern Jordanian governorate of Irbid, in close collaboration with Ministry of Health and Department of Health. The hospital provides services for Syrian refugees residing among the local community in Irbid.
The crisis in Syria has caused an unprecedented flow of refugees into neighbouring countries. There are currently over 540,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.* The majority of the refugees – around 70% - are living outside of refugee camps, causing a strain on the country’s resources including the health system, which is becoming increasingly overburdened, also reducing access to healthcare for Jordanian citizens. There are over 120,000 in Irbid governorate, which currently hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees in the country.
MSF conducted an assessment of the health situation of Syrian refugees living in the Jordanian community and identified some gaps in their access to mother and child health. In response to these needs, and to the Jordanian appeal for international medical and humanitarian assistance, MSF opened the hospital which is providing maternity and neonatal hospitalisation with a 10 bed capacity, as well as antenatal and postnatal outpatient consultations. In the next weeks, a paediatric ward with an 18 bed capacity will also be opened and paediatric outpatient consultations will be given. The MSF team in Irbid consists of around 40 local medical and support staff, in collaboration with 8 expatriates.
“Opening this project 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 of intervention for Syrian refugees comes 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,” he added.
MSF has been present in Jordan since August 2006. It continues to receive Syrian and other patients affected by conflict at its surgical hospital in Amman, where it offers specialized surgical interventions; in addition to running a specialized surgical project for trauma patients in Ramtha MoH hospital. MSF has also been running a paediatrics hospital in Zaatari refugee camp since March 2013.