UOSSM participated at the Protecting Hospital and Healthcare Workers Conference in Geneva on Dec. 11, 2015, hosted by UOSSM Switzerland. Alongside a presentation by UOSSM-Canada’s Dr. Anas Al Kassem, four other medical relief organizations (SEMA, Sham, SAMS, PAC) also presented about the alarming attacks on healthcare in Syria and the extensive loss of medical infrastructure and medical personnel. Present at the conference were UN-OCHA and WHO, who participated in the discussions on strategies to overcome these enormous challenges.
After continuous and extensive attacks on healthcare in Syria, UOSSM’s hospital surveys (completed in areas accessible to UOSSM) were able to verify that only 113 hospitals remain in Syria, served by only 119 surgeons and 153 certified nurses. This points to an urgent shortage of medical staff and facilities, one of the challenges UOSSM, and partnering organizations, helped bring to light at this conference.