Magazine article New Internationalist

Diaspora Doctors

Magazine article New Internationalist

Diaspora Doctors

Article excerpt

A growing number of medical professionals from the Syrian diaspora are risking their lives to bring aid directly to displaced refugees.

Dr Rola, a British-Syrian doctor, works with Hand in Hand for Syria (HIH ), a registered charity set up at the start of the uprising. 'We had to move on from crying in front of the television,' she says. Like many, she has lost members of her extended family in this revolution. Late last year she visited Atmeh refugee camp, where 13,000 internally displaced people - mostly women and children - rely on one health centre cabin, staffed by HIH and another NGO.

HIH also supports local obstetrician Dr Aisha, who works in secret from home, near Atmeh camp. She delivers babies on her kitchen table - in the dark, since the government cut the electricity supply. The charity is currently building a delivery suite under her house.

Healthcare has become a dangerous occupation in Syria since Bashir al- Assad's regime started deliberately targeting doctors and health centres in retribution for tending to the warwounded, the International Rescue Committee reports. …

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