Jordan’s health ministry and Doctors of the World will open a medical center this week to help treats tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in the kingdom, the international aid group said on Tuesday.
The health centre will open on Sunday in the border town of Ramtha to “provide primary health care to Syrians and vulnerable Jordanians,” Medecins du Monde said in a statement.
“The health center’s opening will mark an important step in the project to improve health care access for Syrians who have fled to Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey,” it added.
“To consult a doctor or get medical treatment is a challenge for many of the thousands of Syrians who are present in Ramtha. Their access to health is limited by their scarce financial resources and the strain on the Jordanian health services...”
Jordan’s council of ministers on Monday approved the building of several refugee camps to host more than 140,000 Syrians who have fled the conflict in their homeland.
Many of those refugees are now staying with relatives, particularly in northern Jordan.
The statement quoted a Syrian doctor who came to Jordan a year ago as saying that “Syrians are suffering from psychological trauma because of what they went through in Syria and their escape.”
“Others are also suffering from interruptions in their treatment for chronic illnesses... 40 percent of the children we have seen at consultations show symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as fear of the dark, distress and aggressiveness,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, monitors reported that Red Crescent staffer Khaled Khaffaji, shot during overnight in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, had died, bringing to 21 the number of deaths across the strife-torn country.
The Red Cross Red Crescent condemned Khaffaji’s killing, saying “this is the second time in less than a month that a member of the Red Crescent has been killed while on duty.”
“We are devastated. The loss of Khaled is completely unacceptable,” said Dr. Abdul Rahman al-Attar, president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
“All sides must respect health-care workers and the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems, and allow Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers to provide assistance unhindered and in safety.”
The statement did not say who killed Khaffaji.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has estimated that more than 17,000 people have been killed since the anti-regime uprising in Syria broke out in mid-March 200, including five Red Crescent workers.