| Feb 14, 2024
AFTER ONE YEAR
Based on our observations in its supported Primary Health Care Centers (PHCCs) in the region, the following findings had been highlighted following the earthquake:
− Difficulty to access health services due to an exponential increase in the number of patients in the health facilities (HF) and damaged infrastructure.
− Lack of medicine and medical supplies
− Lack of toilets, water, heating, electricity, and privacy in the tents / outside settlings.
− Lack of access to safe Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.
− Increase in cases of violence against women and children, adults and children with disabilities as the most vulnerable groups.
− Increase in children with infections, especially upper and lower respiratory tract infections. − Psychological damage caused by the earthquake: exponential increase in symptoms such as fear, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, crying, intense thoughts, nightmares, feeling that something bad is going to happen and expecting the worst.
− Lack of financial resources to go to necessary specialised centres (e.g., in Kobane there is no comprehensive care center or shelter for women victims of gender-based violence, the closest one is in Raqqa).
− High risk of outbreaks of contagious diseases
− Breastfeeding practices affected by the psychological state of mothers and the quality and quantity of food and drinking water.
− Lack of resources to prepare complementary foods for children aged 6-23 months.
− Risk of increased child labour due to loss of family income sources and school closures.
Doctors of the World was the only international organization offering health and MHPSS services in the Kobane area (Aleppo governorate), and quickly started developing earthquake-related activities within its ongoing projects (increasing working hours of the already supported PHCCs, prepositioning of medicines and staff to cover the increasing needs, trainings on first aid and trauma cases referrals). With GAC support, from March 16th, and in complement to MDM ongoing projects, these activities were scaled-up for a continued and sustained response focused on the priority medical, psychosocial and protection needs of vulnerable people affected by the earthquake including Children Under 5 (CU5), young girls, Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW), Persons with Disability (PWD) and the elderly.
We were able to reach 89,143 beneficiaries (40% men, 60% female), substantially surpassing the original target of 72,960 (122% reached). Indeed, as the sole NGO still present in Kobane ensuring the availability of trained technical care providers (including on MHPSS, a dire need in the affected communities following the earthquake), medicines, medical supplies, hygiene, SRH and dignity kits, and more globally of high-quality and continuous health services, MdM-supported PHCCs were much more frequented than PHCCs only supported by Local Health Authorities (LHA)
Doctors of the World Spain is supporting 14 health centers guaranteeing access to Primary Health Care services (including Sexual and Reproductive Health, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support and community health) covering a population of approximately 840,000 people.
Likewise, work is carried out in the communities near these health centers through the deployment of community agents who work with existing community structures and make home visits with health education and psychosocial welfare tasks and identify and refer cases, both to primary health care centers and to other existing services.