Makeshift Clinic Provides Healthcare in Rural Syria

Published: Nov 28, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Makeshift Clinic Provides Healthcare in Rural Syria
© People in need

In a makeshift clinic room in the back of his house, Nazeer holds an oxygen mask to the baby seated on his lap. The room is plain and only outfitted with the basics. Latex gloves, surgical scissors, bandages, and face masks line the shelves next to the examination table. With PIN’s small business grant, Nazeer, a qualified nurse, opened this clinic and bought the medical supplies he needed. “I like to help people,” he said, “I used to try and provide help for people who needed it, but I did not have the resources before receiving the grant from PIN.” 

Nazeer’s house is like many others in his neighbourhood, save for the large sign hanging from the eaves, proudly displaying images of stethoscopes and first aid kits. He opened the clinic in his home because patients often came to visit him at night rather than travel to the local hospital, and he needed his medical supplies at hand.


“I provide medical services for the community at a nominal charge, mainly for those who cannot go to the hospital or those who need a medical follow-up at home,” he said. “I check temperature and blood pressure, change dressings, install catheters, and provide assistance in medical emergencies.”

After 11 years of war, Syria’s public healthcare system is already stretched to breaking point, with up to 50% of Syria’s health facilities having been destroyed. In his case, while there is a hospital in the village, Nazeer provides vital aid where local services fall short.


Nazeer moved to this village in 2019, after being displaced multiple times. He was only 15 when the war started, and his hometown in the countryside of eastern Idleb often fell prey to bombardment. “Sometimes, we would stay on the outskirts of the village or in nearby towns for a couple of days until the shelling stopped, and then we would go back,” said Nazeer, “Once, I had to spend a night hiding from the warplanes under olive trees.”

He eventually settled in his current home, where he finished his nursing degree and applied for PIN’s small business grant. Nazeer’s wife, who is also a nurse, helps him with the female patients who would rather come to the clinic than the hospital. “I like my profession because it deals with people,” said Nazeer.


 

“It has a humanitarian aspect. Nursing requires dealing well with patients and people in distress, so I have to consider people’s feelings.”


Nazeer hopes to one day return to his hometown and establish another clinic there. But for now, he is content to help where he can. “I like to provide a service for the community. Whether I had a job at a hospital or a health center, I would want to continue helping people. The small business grant from PIN gave me the tools to do so.”


Our support for Nazeer’s clinic would not be possible without generous funding from USAID. Thanks to this funding, People in Need can continue supporting small businesses in northern Syria.

Author: Kieran Seager, People in need

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