Reflections from one of our medical mission volunteers

Please read the reflection from one of the volunteers in our last mission in June. Our next mission is September 6-13, 2013. Please contact Rita at 206-545-7300 if you want to join this mission.

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By Dr. Samir Ataya:
AA,
Syrian crisis started in March 2011 after the Syrian government decided to end the legitimate request and peaceful demonstration for freedom and democracy with an iron fist. Estimated 100,000 killed, 100,000 detained, 5 million displaced, 3.5 millions were displaced internally, and 1.5 million externally. Out of these 1.5 million, 650,000 are in Jordan.

I went on a medical mission last month to Jordan, trip of a life time. Syrian refugees in Jordan lack the basic needs in life. I was amazed to see physicians and nurses from all over the world, with different background and faith, meeting on this humanitarian crisis. I rounded in two ICUs and helped staffing several family medicine clinics. We saw close to 10,000 patients and provided free medications that we brought with us.
I visited the Zaatari camp. It has 180,000 people living in the desert inside caravans and tents. Its population makes it the fifth largest city in Jordan. We faced an epidemic of hepatitis A in the camp, and the need for medical support was beyond imagination. I really did not know what misery means until I visited the camp, it takes 1 full hr to visit the bathroom.

I heard so many stories that touched my heart. Doa, who is one-and-a-half years old was playing with her 2 sisters when the rocket destroyed their house and the three of them were removed from under the rubble, she lost her leg which her grandmother kept looking for thinking she could have attached it back. Luckily all 3 survived after multiple surgeries. People over there taught me the real meaning of dedication and hard work, they changed my perception that made me a better person. Will do it over and over again.

There is a huge need for all specialties, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, neurology, surgery…etc. Subspecialties in dire need are orthopedic surgery, plastic/reconstructive surgery and ophthalmology.

Next trip will be in September. It is for 1 week with hotel, accommodation and transportation are prearranged by the organizer. You pay your portion for accommodation, airfare, food and transportation. Please let me know you are interested and call me with any question you might have.

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