Update from the Field: Through your generosity, SAMS launched a swift emergency earthquake response to save as many lives as possible and render aid to those injured and displaced. In the first phase of our response, we:
- Provided 24/7 urgent care at 6 hospitals in Syria from the very first moments the earthquake struck.
- Cared for 3,877 trauma-related cases at hospitals, including 653 admissions and 920 surgeries.
- Deployed 6 mobile medical teams deployed to earthquake affected areas.
- Launched at least 6 multi-specialty medical missions with dozens of volunteers carrying more than $ 1.5M worth of supplies, equipment, and medications.
- Sent 70 shipments of medications/supplies to SAMS warehouses in Syria and 279 shipments to SAMS facilities.
- Provided food and non-food items distribution at reception centers in southern Turkey under partnership with Ihsan for Relief and Development.
- Provided temporary shelter through our partnership with Syrian Forum and distributed food and fuel through another project with Ghiras Al Nahda.
- Delivered 1,000 emergency food baskets in collaboration with Big Heart.
- Provided support for 1,000 displaced staff members in Turkey and Syria, including emergency housing and food, financial support, mental health services, and other aid.
In the aftermath of February’s catastrophic earthquakes and aftershocks, SAMS continues to lead medical relief efforts in northwest Syria, addressing the specialized health needs of earthquake survivors, including ongoing medical care, long-term physical therapy, rehabilitation, prosthetics, dialysis, mental health services, and a special child protection initiative, while also working with strategic humanitarian partners on the ground.
We are working to replace earthquake-damaged medical facilities and non-functional equipment, monitor and respond to outbreaks of communicable diseases such as COVID and cholera, expand medical education, and we continue to provide SAMS is delivering a full range of medical services, including emergency and trauma care, ICU services, reproductive care, cancer treatment, mental health services, dialysis, physical rehabilitation, and much more.
To All Who Have So Generously Supported SAMS' Earthquake Relief Efforts in Syria, Please Accept our Heartfelt Thanks!
If you would like to mail in your donation, please mail your check or money order to: Syrian American Medical Society Foundation, PO Box 34115, Washington, DC 20043. The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Foundation is a non-religious, non-political, registered 501(c)(3) global medical relief organization (TAX ID 16-1717058). All services are provided free of charge to every patient in need.
On February 6, 2023, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Türkiye near the Syrian border at around 04:17 am local time, while most residents were still asleep. A second massive 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit at around 13:30 local time, with multiple violent aftershocks following thereafter.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake is the worst natural disaster to hit the region in nearly a century and it is turning into one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent years, creating needs on an unprecedented scale.In both Türkiye and Syria, an estimated 46,000 people lost their lives and more than 123,000 people were injured in a disaster which has been described by some as Armageddon. In both Türkiye and Syria, tens of thousands of people have been injured and millions of people have been left without food, shelter and proper clothing in the midst of cold winter weather.
For the 4.5 million people living in NW Syria, including 2 million children, the suffering is unfathomable. Syrians have already endured nearly 12 years of conflict, trauma and displacement, which has left the majority of the population in extreme poverty. And now the Syrian people are facing yet another tragedy.Despite a lack of heavy machinery and equipment, brave rescuers are racing against time to save those trapped under the rubble. In Afrin, Syria teams recently rescued a newborn baby (now named Aya) still tied by her umbilical cord to her mother. It is believed that the baby’s mother gave birth while buried under the rubble, and the child is the only member of her immediate family to survive the devastation.On the frontlines of the response, SAMS' heroic medical personnel, supported by a mission team of US-based physicians, are performing urgently-needed surgeries. SAMS Dr. Samer Attar described the situation saying, "20 surgeries our first day. Barely scratching the surface. It's heartbreaking." At SAMS-supported Bab Al Hawa Hospital Dr. Mustafa Al-Yamani, a neurosurgery resident treated 3-month-old, Mohammed who arrived with a fractured skull, so he was put on a ventilator under observation, and his condition has not stabilized until now. It is not known what happened to Mohammed's family. Another survivor, seven-year-old Khaled arrived at SAMS-supported Idlib Central Hospital after being pulled out from his collapsed home in Salqin, Syria. Khaled underwent an operation for a hip fracture and is now recovering. Khaled still does not know what happened to his family, as he is the first and only survivor.Eight-year-old Hana is still smiling despite the pain and suffering she went through, proving to us with her innocent smile that hope will be reborn, despite the tragedy that occurred. Hana was rescued from the rubble after being trapped for 37 hours. She was the only survivor in her family. Hana suffered numerous injuries after a wall collapsed on top of her. Here’s Hana recalling what she went through, "My father was at the door with my sister, and my mother told me not to wear my slippers and to run down immediately. Rocks were falling on us."
In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquakes, SAMS' heroic medical teams in northwest Syria are working around the clock to treat hundreds of victims and save as many lives as possible. At SAMS-supported Al-Shifaa hospital, SAMS medical teams are providing emergency care for a child who was rescued after being trapped more than 36 hours.So far, SAMS' heroic medical teams have treated more than 3,877 earthquake victims, including patients with severe fractures, head injuries, and damage to internal organs, as well as minor injuries. Unfortunately, 293 beneficiaries succumbed to their injuries.
Ali Abdel-Razzaq, a nurse and head of the ambulance department at SAMS-supported Bab Al-Hawa Hospital and described the situation on the ground, "The medical staff are completely exhausted psychologically and physically and still working after more than 37 hours of continuous work, there are still injuries that are spreading widely...We need to join efforts to lend a helping hand. "In the wake of the deadly quakes, hospitals and medical facilities are overwhelmed with patients filling the hallways, as healthcare personnel work tirelessly to respond.
There is an immediate need to strengthen our emergency medical response with additional trauma supplies, medical consumables, medications, equipment, support for medical teams, repair for damaged facilities, and a long-term healthcare response to this disaster.
After providing emergency trauma care and surgeries, SAMS will need to provide survivors with extensive follow-up medical care, rehabilitation, and mental health services. Thousands of earthquake survivors in Syria have lost family members --- and SAMS medical workers have not been spared this tragic fate.
SAMS supports at least 36 medical facilities in the affected region of northwest Syria, a regional office in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the epicenter of the first quake, and other medical facilities across the country. So, far at least 4 of SAMS' medical facilities have been damaged by the earthquake and 3 of those are so severely damaged that they have been put out of service.So far, the facilities affected are Bab Al Hawa Hospital, Al Shifaa Hospital, Rajo Hospital, Al-Atareb, Ma'arat Misrin, Salqin Hospital, and Idlib Central Hospital.SAMS is evacuating patients from hospitals and facilities, which have sustained severe damage to safer facilities, while also working closely with local partners in a coordinated emergency response. As SAMS responds to this catastrophic earthquake, we ask for your support. Please help us rush emergency aid to earthquake victims and save as many lives as possible. Your donation will help support our life-saving response and secure:
Emergency First Aid Supplies, Bandages, Wound dressings, IV bags, tubes and fluids, Surgical kits, casts and orthopedic supplies, Anesthesia and pain medications, Blood transfusion kits, Medical Equipment and lab support, Healthcare Worker Staff Support, Fuel for ambulances, heat and generators, Hygiene Items and blankets for patients care, Immediate repairs & long-term rehabilitation of medical facilities, Expanded medical services to accommodate the flow from damaged hospitals, temporary shelter for SAMS' relief staff and much more. SAMS will need to provide survivors with extensive follow-up medical care and rehabilitation.Your tax-deductible donation will ensure that victims injured in the earthquake receive the medical care they need. Want to do more? Donate and become a fundraiser or share the link with all your contacts. From all of us at SAMS, thank you for your magnanimous outpouring of support!
Please mail donations to:
Syrian American Medical Society Foundation
PO Box 34115
Washington, DC 20043
To donate via a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), please contact your DAF administrator and request that your gift be made to the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation, Tax ID 16-1717058. Thank you!