A Red Cross field hospital offers help at Al Hol refugee camp in Syria

More than 64,000 people have come to the Al Hol camp since December. More than half of these people are children.
Image: ICRC
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Fundraising permit: POL-2015-8798, granted on 30 November 2015

The international staff at the hospital includes eight aid workers from the Finnish Red Cross. The Al Hol refugee camp accommodates 74,000 people, 90 per cent of whom are women and children. The hot summer weather is making the conditions in the camp worse.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have opened a surgical field hospital in the Hassakeh area in Syria. The Finnish Red Cross sent a truckload of hospital equipment to Oslo in May. From there, the Norwegian Red Cross flew the shared field hospital to Syria.

Doctors, nurses and technicians from Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark currently work in the field hospital as aid workers.

– The people in the camp are in dire need of health care services. The Red Cross hospital was opened last Thursday, but we are still putting the finishing touches on it. We are doing our best in the 40 degree heat,” an administrative Finnish Red Cross aid worker says.

Currently, the Red Cross field hospital consists of 30 beds, an on-call service, an operating theatre, an inpatient ward and a laboratory. The purpose of the hospital is to treat the ill and anyone injured in the war as well as handle difficult births, for example.

– More than 64,000 people have come to the Al Hol camp since December. More than half of these people are children. The bearing capacity of the camp has already been exceeded, and trying to meet people’s needs is an immense challenge, says Tiina Saarikoski, head of international disaster aid at the Finnish Red Cross.

The need for humanitarian aid is heightened by the floods in Syria, which have made life difficult for more than 100,000 people in the Hassakeh area this spring. The hospital also treats those afflicted by the floods.

In addition to health care personnel, the Finnish Red Cross is supporting the aid operation by providing hospital equipment sent with help from the Disaster Relief Fund.