× Close


“A lot of children have not been vaccinated for years”

Testimony by Dr. Mohammed Ya’akoub, MSF medical mobile team, in Idlib, Syria.

    Earlier today we visited Al-Rahman camp near the Turkish border, where 44 newly displaced families had recently arrived. Seventy other displaced families were already there.

    Shelters are scarce

    Some of these families managed to bring their belongings but others travelled with nothing. When they visit the clinic, most of them are sad and don’t talk a lot, they only ask when they will be able to return  home. Some families also complain about the high cost of renting land to find shelter, and the lack of tents.

    The camp, made to host around seventy families, was already full before the new arrivals. Now there are more than one hundred families. Some of the newly arrived brought their own tents, but some had to ask for one to the charities that are assisting the refugees. Still, there aren't enough tents for everybody and many families are forced to share.

    The medical situation is really difficult

    Respiratory tract infections are very common. Some families have been travelling for one week before arriving here, camping by the side of the road, in the open air.

    Many patients with chronic disease have not taken their medication for a month. Moreover, we had numerous cases of patients with diabetes and high blood pressure, and the children had not been vaccinated for years.

    The nearest hospital to this settlement is 10 km away, and it is difficult to reach.

    MSF provided medications to those with chronic diseases, delivered the first doses of vaccines for pregnant women and children and changed the dressings of those who were wounded. The nearest hospital to this settlement is 10 km away, and it is difficult to reach. People can’t afford the cost of transportation to get there, so mobile clinics are the best option available.

    Main Photo: more than 212,000 Syrians have fled their homes due to an intensification of airstikes in northwest Syria. © Omar Haj Kadour/MSF