Gift of the Givers Prepares for Idlib Attack

The tension in Turkey both among Turks and Syrians is running high. I haven't experienced this much distress among the Syrian refugees in Istanbul who fear the worst for their families in Idlib. The Turks too, who have been very sympathetic and absorbed 3 million refugees just cannot deal with a new wave of displacement in a troubled economic climate given the current depreciation of the Lira, nor do they want to see a slaughter of women and children yet again.

Gift of the Givers teams have to deal with reality, if the attack comes we have to respond. The more prepared we are the more lives we can save. WE are Prepared. From a single small building that was a one floor hospital and 15 medical staff in 2013, Gift of the Givers currently has four buildings, the legendary Ar Rahma Hospital is now 3-storeys, with 5 ambulances and 270 staff. We have an outpatient primary care facility, a rehabilitation centre that provides physiotherapy, social and psychological support, as well as a second hospital, Al Hilal, 500m from the Turkish border inside Syria. We treat 14000 patients per month.The team members are psychologically prepared. This was very clear following my meeting with the team leaders in Gaziantep on 31 August and currently. This is nothing new for them as most of the medical staff are recruits from hospitals that were deliberately targeted and bombed in areas where civilians were the primary targets of the Assad regime to instill maximum fear in the population. Dr Sakher is a veteran from Eastern Ghouta, who headed the medical response there in three years of continuous bombardment and a crippling siege. He and some of his team members are recent recruits of Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital, headed by Dr Ahmad Ghandour, who managed to escape Assad's State Security in Aleppo. His "crime", saving the lives of innocent civilians bombed by the regime. Dr Ghandour was a student of Dr Sakher.  The Gift of the Givers teams know NO fear having embraced and neutralised it.

The trip to Turkey included meeting our partners, arranging additional medical consumables, upgrading equipment and preparing for the delivery of standard supplies for displaced people. Whatever can be done to save lives and assist displaced people who continue their miserable journey of repeated displacement, must be done. Those wanting to assist can deposit into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052278611, Branch Code 057525. Ref: Idlib. Please send deposit slip to sooliman@giftofthegivers.org