Mobile clinics are being used in Jordan to help Syrian refugees and poor Jordanians access free health care.

A project begun in September will provide better emergency health care to Syrian refugees and poor Jordanians.

In November 2014, the Jordanian Ministry of Health announced that Syrian refugees would no longer be eligible for access free services at government health facilities. Islamic Relief designed a project to meet some of the need.

As part of the project, funding has been provided for a mobile clinic to travel around remote and impoverished communities in southern Jordan. The clinic will offer free care to those who are unable to access health services, as well as sharing information on diseases and prevention of illness.

Official launch

Ruba Atari, health programme manager at Islamic Relief Jordan.

Ruba Atari, health programme manager at Islamic Relief Jordan.

The mobile clinic will operate according to need, but, according to similar interventions, beneficiaries are expected to be children younger than five, older people, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with acute life-threatening diseases.

An event officially launching the mobile clinic on September 8 was attended by Dr Ali Hyasat, the Minister of Health, and Dr Daif Allah Lozi, secretary general of the Ministry of Health, as well as experts from Islamic Relief. They discussed other issues facing the health sector in Jordan, and how the Ministry of Health and Islamic Relief could cooperate to meet the needs of others.

Elhadi Abdallah, country director of Islamic Relief Jordan, said: “The areas that this mobile clinic will visit are particularly remote, and residents from those areas struggle to access health care. That might be because of the distance between their home and the nearest health facility, the cost of care, or the lack of equipment or staff at the facility. ”

Islamic Relief Jordan's country director, right, in discussions with the Minister of Health Dr Ali Hyasat.

Islamic Relief Jordan’s country director, right, in discussions with the Minister of Health Dr Ali Hyasat.

Staff in the mobile clinic will be able to offer diagnosis of illness and chronic disease follow-up appointments, and will be equipped with portable ultrasound equipment, first aid kits, test kits, and medicines.

Jordan is currently hosting 629,627 Syrian refugees, and 85 per cent of these live outside camps in poor areas of the country. Almost 53 per cent of all refugees are children. UNHCR currently provides free emergency health care to some Syrian refugees but UN OCHA says there are many cases of people dying because they were unable to reach medical treatment soon enough. Islamic Relief’s project aims to meet some of the need, and is also working with Caritas to fund care for 220 patients at Luzmellah Hospital, in the capital city Amman. Islamic Relief also offers support for serious illnesses.

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