Face of the Refugee Crisis
Since 2011, many refugees have looked from Syria to neighbouring Turkey in search of safety - desperate to escape the bombings, shelling and violence which continues to claim innocent lives day by day.
Today nearly two million of these people are now living in Turkey - trying to survive, trying to protect their families, trying to build a future from the wreckage of their former lives.
Many carry the horrific physical and mental injuries that are the by-product of a conflict breaking new ground in terms of viciousness.
Serious and life changing injuries are common among these refugees - nearly half of those who seek help from International Medical Corps in Turkey are suffering from the injuries related to the conflict - traumatic amputation, spinal injuries, brain damage, paralysis, in addition emotional torment, stress, anxiety and depression are all regularly presented.
Often it is these people who are most effected by the upheaval that comes with fleeing violence; they face trying to cope with a life changing injury and new surroundings without friends and family around them for support.
These people are desperate for the rehabilitation, primary health care, and protection services - including mental health - that will help them recover, keep them healthy, mobile and allow them the dignity of self-sufficiency.
That’s why International Medical Corps, through an aid grant from the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), is funding and operating 8 physical rehabilitation centres across the Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa regions, 11 mobile rehabilitation teams and 6 specialist care houses.
These services provide specialised physiotherapy and protection services and comprehensive primary health care – essential in a country where approximately 63% of Syrians are believed to be unable to access health services – but they are still designed to integrate the specific recovery work with a more overarching medical support service which includes:
* Identifying and treating diseases particularly prevalent among the refugee population
* Providing essential medications including contraceptives
* Mental health care
* Integrated reproductive health services including ante and postnatal care
* New-born children care
* Supporting ministry of health immunisation services
* Psychological First Aid
* Gender-based violence support and response services
Since 2012 International Medical Corps has been working in several provinces in Southern Turkey alongside projects based in the cities of Istanbul and Ankara. We are using that experience, alongside funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department and other partners to deliver primary health care in two clinics across the region.
On top of the medical support we are providing, International Medical Corps teams are working with Syrian refugees to provide legal services – helping those without a voice to access and rely the Turkish legal system – in addition to community outreach and assistance.
Our staff – trained experts with years of experience in these specialised services, including rehabilitation of those with such horrific injuries, protection and mental health case management – not only work to help rebuild the lives of those suffering from the ongoing war, but share their expertise with others, including local partners - helping enhance the ability of those in Southern Turkey to cater for these refugees fleeing a conflict that shows little sign of drawing to a close.