Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees

by International Medical Crisis Response Alliance
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Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Native-Language Medical Advice for Refugees
Aly Hemdan
Aly Hemdan

Dear Friends,

Our metrics tell us that nearly 10,000 visits have been made to our telemedicine system dedicated to providing refugees and their caregivers with modern medical information.  But numbers are just numbers.  In fact, we know that one physician who thought he was dealing with a serious abdominal condition requiring surgery found that he had only to treat for IBS.  We also learned that several children in danger of pellagra were pretty much cured by reference to our IMCRA dietician's modules.  Perhaps most dramatically. a minor surgery was successfully performed where no surgery would have been undertaken without the information and guidance provided by IMCRA's Dr. Maher Suede.

This is the magic of the IMCRA system.  the knowledge and the help is there around the clock, 24/7 in the language of the people who need it.  The only impediment is how many modules we can load, on how many medical issues facing the refugees and thereir caregivers.

And that is where you come in.  Your kind support will enable us to not only reach thousands more who are desperately in need, but to also expand the knowledge base so that IMCRA is an ever more valuable life-saving and life-giving resource.

 

Thsnk you.

Elisa Nussbaum
Elisa Nussbaum
kids waiting for help
kids waiting for help
Maher Suede
Maher Suede

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IMCRA at UN-NGLS chamber after address
IMCRA at UN-NGLS chamber after address

This update on our work starts with a simple but disturbing question:  Who is unworthy of assistance?   Perhaps more to the point, who is less worthy of assistance?  We ask the question because despite the better angels of our nature, all of us cannot help but harbor private feelings which influence our charitable actions.  Is a traumatized child in a camp in Turkey more needy than an undernourished baby in Africa?  Are child marriage girls in the Sudan less compelling than those sold into hawala slavery in Syria?  Seeing the world as it is in October 2016 it seems we are forced to choose between horrors. 

A natural human tendency is to gravitate toward more sunny situations, those in which a little help will seem to go a long way. They seem less of a black hole, less of a bottomless pit.  If $5 will feed a Libyan toddler for a week, their smiles are more rewarding than the tortured eyes of a child in a Serbian refugee camp; for whom nothing will ever seem normal again.

And so, as caring Americans, we seem to have a serious dilemma of choice.

On September 19th and 20th, IMCRA was invited to join scores of other NGOs in presenting their work at the United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants. In two days of sessions, with data presented from over 30 nations directly involved with refugee issues, it became clear that if there is anything that most deserves intense global mobilization and response it is the current refugee crisis.  Millions of people are on the move worldwide to escape a 21st Century return to some of the worst criminal barbarity in recorded history.  As report after report was presented the look of shock on the faces of the representatives was universal.  Not a few tears were shed by people already hardened to the inhumanity of global affairs.  Seemingly endless reports of rape, slavery, child abuse, starvation, and brutal murder assailed us for those two days.  There were many reports, but precious little discussed in terms of direct remedies.

Unfortunately, the fact is that the people suffering these darkest horrors are also those who need the most attention and the most help from us.  IMCRA is one of the few organizations addressing the problem directly.  We are speaking to and aiding refugees and their caregivers in their own language and in full recognition of the terrible circumstances in which they find themselves.  We have engaged committed psychiatrists, physicians and nurses and are recruiting more on a weekly basis. While it may take longer to coax a smile from a 9-year old whose parents were murdered in Iraq, the reason to live we provide will ultimately be a much healthier one than the alternatives of crime, destitution and radicalism.  This is our goal and our mission, please do your best to help us.

Thank you.

 



Dr. Hedberg at General Assembly
Dr. Hedberg at General Assembly
Secretary Ban Ki-Moon with Syrian Refugee
Secretary Ban Ki-Moon with Syrian Refugee
General Assembly Session on Refugees and Migrants
General Assembly Session on Refugees and Migrants
ECOSOC Workgroup on Medical Issues
ECOSOC Workgroup on Medical Issues
Our Best Reward 1
Our Best Reward 1
Our best reward 2
Our best reward 2

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The Basics are no different: Tenderness and Family
The Basics are no different: Tenderness and Family

No matter how desperate the plight of the Syrian Refugees, there are many signs of an emerging reluctance to offer them heartfelt help.  This is evident in this country as well as elsewhere.  Humanitarian impulses are dampened by month after month of reports of some new terroist atrocity and mass murder.  Grisly and horrifying stories and photos have become all too common in our daily news.  Almost invariably an Arabic-sounding name is associated with the murderers.  In many cases the murderers are immigrants from the Mideast who have lived for years in the countries they have savaged.  Good people hesitate and begin to wonder;  "Why should I be supporting and giving aid to a population of potential terrorists?".  In this country and elsewhere irresponsible demagogues play these fears for votes and worsen the atmosphere of ignorant xenophobia.  The fact that the best studies have shown well over 99.97% of refugees are peaceful, decent people with no ties to terrorism does not register.

As is so often the case, a little knowledge and understanding goes a long way to exposing these fears as not only groundless but completely counterproductive. First and most importantly, violent people are made, not born; and a century of studies of the human condition have shown that misery and hopelessness in childhood is one of the primary factors in shaping a criminal adulthood.  Right now there are hundreds of thousands of children, living under hellish conditions of hunger, illness and deprivation.  In many cases, the countries they have sought refuge in, (e.g. Greece, Serbia, Jordan, Turkey...etc), have been unable to offer an effecctive reprieve from their hardships; and the squalor of the camps continues.  It is important to remember as well, that well before these children and their families were forced to flee their homes, conditions in Syria itself had deteriorated into an endless nightmare of violence.

The one thing these children and their parents can take faith in is the kindness and assistance of those who see them as innocent fellow humans of the the world community.  The best thing we can do to prevent the misery that leads to violence and mental illness is to embrace these people and their most desperate needs.  The worst thing we can do is isolate and fear them.  IMCRA's native language medical program takes this reality to heart.  Since earlier this year we have elicited the unbridled cooperation of Arabic-speaking physicians and healthcare experts throughout the US to provide needed interactive medical resources on therapeutic areas such as child psychology, nutrition, cardiovascular medicine, pulmonology, and emergency surgery, among others.   These interactive services are available via internet and smartphone.  Soon we will have an onsite presence from contributing faculty as well.  The reaources offered are targeted at overwhelmed and/or undertrained healthcare professionals onsite in the camps as well as at patients and families themselves.

The IMCRA program says clearly and comfortingly: "...we care and we are there for you...".   Thusfar we have launched 15 mdeical and psychiatric modules and are in the midst of producing 15 more.  Please help us to continue one of the few positive influences on the innocent and not-very-different-from-ourselves members this suffering community.   Thank you.

Refugees: 1620
Refugees: 1620
Entry Page to IMCRA Syrian Program Site
Entry Page to IMCRA Syrian Program Site
Dr. Wissam Hoyek, Cardiologist
Dr. Wissam Hoyek, Cardiologist

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Dr. Padam Neopane, IMCRA Gerontologist
Dr. Padam Neopane, IMCRA Gerontologist

Underway and Moving Forward!

Any time you you are faced with a difficult task, think about trying to coordinate the busy schedules of 10 topnotch practicing physicians, experts in their fields, who are scattered over a 300 mile region.  Well, it is VERY difficult, but we did it!  IMCRA's Syrian refugee outreach project has now completed its first faculty roundtable and secured the medical knowledge and intervention of a cardiologist (Dr. Hazar Dahan), a specialist in infectious disease (Dr. Shmuel Shoham), a pediatric nutritionist (Elisa Nussbaum), a gastroenterologist (Dr. Ali Hemacha), a respiratory specialist (Dr. Aly Hemdan Abdalla), a gerontologist (Dr. Padam Neopane), and a field surgeon, (Dr. Maher Suede) among others.  Our program chairman, Dr. M. Saud Anwar, has had experience in the camps in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East and will be instrumental in bringing the dedicated expertise of these faculty to the people who need them in their native language.

Our next step is setting up the smartphone links through which our faculty will be able to deliver video modules and provide advice to on-the-ground caretakers globally and wherever refugee families find themselves. As our IT specialist Dr. Elliot Noma notes, "This is one of the most important things I've ever done".  So are we are constructing it to be sturdy enough to last for years.  The system when launched will be both easy for caretakers and field phyicians to use, will be available anywhere there is cyberconnectivity, and will be constantly updated and growing. 

As Dr. Anwar has reported, "This is something that is badly needed.  These children will grow up with memories of nothing but misery if we cannot reach them in time".

Please help us with system implementation with even a small contribution and the knowledge that whatever you do for this project will both endure and blossom.

Dr. Shmuel Shoham, Infectious Diseases
Dr. Shmuel Shoham, Infectious Diseases
The Innocents Need Something Better
The Innocents Need Something Better
IMCRA Syrian Relief Logo
IMCRA Syrian Relief Logo
IMCRA's Dr. Saud with President Obama
IMCRA's Dr. Saud with President Obama

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Syrian Refugee Collaborative Outreach Symbol
Syrian Refugee Collaborative Outreach Symbol

 

 

The International Medical Crisis Response Alliance has initiated a collaborative effort with Save the Children in Connecticut as a way of optimizing both outreach and effectiveness for both organizations.  During the next few months IMCRA and STC will be exploring multiple avenues of collaboration in aid of refugee families both in CT and internationally.

While the primary focus of the collaborative program will be pediatric medicine, IMCRA's outreach will seek to serve families in general with a secondary focus on elderly family members and women, those most often tasked with child care.

Some events currently under consideration include a movie screening a fundraising dinner and outreach through the working alliance between Norwalk's synagogies and single mosque.

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Organization Information

International Medical Crisis Response Alliance

Location: Norwalk, Connecticut - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @IMCRAlliance
Project Leader:
Thomas G. Hedberg
New York, New York United States
$1,071 raised of $24,100 goal
 
61 donations
$23,029 to go
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