Yesterday Dr A lost another medical facility that was providing essential medical care in Syria when this area was also taken by ISIS. In two days, three essential medical facilities have been lost. One hospital and two slightly smaller medical facilities. As ISIS is being forced out of Iraq, they are regrouping and renewing their forces in Syria. Although our hospital, Emmanuel, was at least an hour and a half from Meljar Hospital, the volume of patients they have been seeing since the area of Meljar and the other medical facility in the desert were taken by ISIS has nearly doubled. They are a small team of mostly volunteer doctors and nurses from their community and the building is also small now for the number of patients they are seeing.
We have put a new disaster management plan in place to provide the essential medical treatment that the Syrian people need in this conflict and we are planning on establishing another emergency hospital in the general vicinity of Emmanuel Hospital.
Our experienced team of doctors and nurses who have had to evacuate Meljar will staff this hospital for now until we have a clearer picture of whether we will be able to return in the short or longer term.
We are also working to open another emergency hospital in an area where Syria has seen devastating fighting and destruction and where there is no civilian medical provision in a location where the needs are enormous.
We have a truly amazing team of committed and courageous Syrian doctors and nurses on the ground who are willing to work in places and conditions that most of their fellow medics wouldn't. They know it could cost them their lives, yet they are willing to serve and risk their own lives to save others. They are encouraged and directed by our inspirational lead doctor in Syria who we call Dr A, who stands by them and does everything in his power to support them and protect them through these turbulent times.
These doctors and nurses are true heros and it is our privilege to work with them and to support them in every way we can in providing life-saving care to the vulnerable people in Syria where 3/4 of the population are living in poverty now.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Whatever happens, we will count our blessings which are many. We will keep positive and focused on our mission to bring provision and hope to the poor, to be a voice to the voiceless and to forgive, love and pray for our enemies.
Thanks so much for your love, your prayers and your support over the last few days, months and years.