After four seventeen in the morning on the 6th of February, every minute that passed felt like a thousand years. That day looked like judgment day. The earth shook terribly, and within a few moments entire buildings were leveled to the ground, thousands injured, the sounds of groaning from under the rubble were frightening. the rescue teams put all their energies with all means and equipment available to them, despite it being limited, as they were not prepared for this great disaster.
Al-Amal Hospital is one of the hospitals near the affected city of Salqin, and it was the first medical point whose shift staff, in addition to all its staff out of duty, rushed to work despite their great fear for the health of their families and relatives. They responded immediately with first aid and surgical operations for the injured and wounded. Since the hospital is the first evacuation point in the city, it worked for 24 hours nonstop on the night of the disaster, performed more than (100) major surgeries and more than (1000) ambulance services.
Doctor Hassan Jolak was one of the doctors on duty on the same night of the disaster, he described to us the terrifying number of injuries, as the emergency rooms could not accommodate a large number of injured, some were placed in the reception halls of the hospital. despite the bad mental state of the staff as they did not get enough time to check on the health of their children and families, according to the doctor, The entire hospital staff was on full vigilance, some of whom were at home and came without hesitation to support their colleagues and save lives. As Dr. Hassan continues: the most difficult moment was when we had to tell the patients that one of their limbs is to be amputated.
As Muhannad, one of the nursing staff said: During the previous weeks, many earthquakes have occurred however, none of them was the size of the February 6 earthquake, as I was going to take some rest after an exhausting workday, and at 4:17 in the morning everything started. The devastating earthquake lasted for about a minute and thirty seconds, and when it ended, we were not aware of the extent of the disaster and the grief and loss those seconds had caused yet. I looked at my colleagues while treating the injured, their faces were blank because what happened was more than anyone could digest, people had died before our eyes, some of them had their feet amputated and some had lost many dear ones. Salqin, was one of the many cities in northwestern Syria that have witnessed large destructions of residential buildings, thousands of deaths and injuries were recorded.
WATAN’s medical response was through its institutions in northwestern Syria, from health centers to blood banks, employing all the equipment and supplies available to them to save the lives of those injured as a result of the earthquake. Watan also launched a campaign to collect donations through its official website and social media platforms to sponsor medical personnel and secure supplies, and medical equipment.
It is worth noting that Al-Amal Hospital is one of the medical points supported and managed by the medical program in Watan. It was established in 2013. The hospital specializes in orthopedic surgeries with distinguished medical staff. It was awarded the first position by the Relief Experts Organization for its excellence in providing health services among 58 operating medical institutions in northwestern Syria, according to the standards adopted in the healthcare network.
The medical program at Watan Foundation aims to reduce deaths and the spread of diseases, by providing sustainable support to medical facilities, as well as responding to emergency cases by covering the salaries of medical workers, operational costs, medicines, transportation and consumables, as well as rehabilitating war-affected centers and contributing to building a health system stable in Syria with a focus on the most vulnerable people, in addition to strengthening coordination and health information systems, to improve the effectiveness of the life-saving health response, as the number of the benifited of the medical program until 2023 reached more than one million and four hundred thousand.
WATAN has various pillars to help achieve the goal, including the improvement of health systems provided through fully equipped health facilities with high-quality medical services, well-trained medical personnel, rapid response, and appropriate health information systems (including reports of medical specialties, epidemiology, and diseases). chronic diseases), and “Watan” implements medical projects in most besieged or hard-to-reach areas where the need for health care is great, and supports the emergency response plan in terms of medical supplies and emergency medical equipment and rehabilitation of facilities. Radiology improves the level of health services provided by WATAN.
WATAN continued to expand its reach to more regions by establishing two diagnostic centers in 2017 and providing more specialized training for the units inside Syria to increase their experience.
WATAN also aims to be the first to implement its innovative emergency response plans in order to lessen the slow response procedures