In the face of war and natural disasters, we have gained a reputation for being an organisation which makes things happen.
By way of example, December 2013 saw our organisation convert an ordinary single story building in Darkoush into an Emergency Hospital in just 70 days and in April 2014, 53 South African medical personnel treated some 7 000 patients in only 10 days.
Such interventions paved the way for an expanded hospital, with multiple disciplines, outreach clinics, internal up-skilling of staff and the dispatch of teams to other hospitals during heavy bombing which resulted in a massive number of civilian casualties in Syria. A further intercession gave effect to the establishment of a second medical facility, Al Hilal Hospital, located close by.
Bombing during the war totally destroyed a number of hospitals, or rendered them dysfunctional .
Ar Rahmah Hospital is one of the largest in Syria, serving patients from a number of areas, inclusive of Idlib, Latakia, Homs, Armanac, Mount Kurds, Mount Turkmen, Aleppo and numerous other districts. It is well-equipped and undertakes a diverse range of surgeries, including general, vascular, orthopaedic, thoracic, ear, nose and throat and urology. It has an Intensive Care Unit, a renal dialysis facility, X-ray, ultra-sound, C-arm, CT Scan and laboratory services, as well as both maternity and neonatal facilities, providing for 120 births and 100 caesarean sections a month. Internal medicine and outpatient clinics, as well as the provision of vaccines, and a pharmacy augment all services.
The hospital's staff complement totals 200, inclusive of doctors, paramedics, physiotherapists, nurses, cleaners and security personnel. The facility also has four ambulances.
The hospital treats between 10 000 and 12 000 patients every month, with some 400 being operated for trauma, 100 being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and 900 being seen by the obstetrics department. Some 130 premature and new-born babies are treated in the neonatal unit, 250 children are admitted to the paediatric wards, 400 patients visit the physiotherapy unit and 250 undergo CT Scans, while 2 500 X-rays and 1 500 ultra-sounds are undertaken and 15 000 laboratory investigations concluded.
In addition, the facility deals with outpatients, while mobile teams visit refugee camps and specialised trauma teams venture into extremely dangerous circumstances in order to assist other hospitals during intense bombing of civilian areas.
An exponential increase in patients numbers at our Ar Rahma Hospital, coupled with repeated and deliberate attempts to bomb it, necessitated an emergency intervention; the use of a second hospital some distance away in a relatively 'safe' area. This facility, Al Hilal Hospital, is located somewhat closer to the Turkish border, affording it improved levels of security.
This hospital focuses on primary health-care, maternity services, and operations involving the overflow from Ar Rahma Hospital.
The Turkish Red Crescent has sponsored a fully-fitted field hospital, costing US$1 million on behalf of our organisation. This facility opened its doors in September 2015 and averages 7 500 patients, 3 000 laboratory investigations, 1 000 X-rays and some 350 admissions every month.
The hospital is both run and funded by Gift of the Givers Foundation (in South Africa), made possible through generous donations by the general public and sponsorship agreements with two organisations, Relief International and the Red Crescent.