"Over the last several years, direct, targeted attacks on health care institutions that are clearly civilian facilities have escalated greatly," says Dr. Michael Van Rooyen, an emergency physician and the director of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, "and Syria's been the most notable and notorious example."

COHI supports one of the remaining hospital networks operating in the Aleppo and Idlib region left to care for the citizens in the cities and surrounding rural areas, which has been a theater of war. Due to frequent hospital bombings, there are incredibly limited resources for mothers and infants to receive healthcare, and general supplies are low.

COHI and partner organization Human Appeal are committed to delivering much needed supplies, resources and support to the last health care center in the region. Human Appeal’s hospital served a community of over 200,000. Now, we can expect it to be much, much higher.

Due to the forced evacuation and continued airstrikes, Human Appeal has branched out its healthcare services, providing a health clinic in rural western Aleppo, a mobile clinic designed to reach those on the move from conflict and a permanent hospital in Idlib, where most Aleppo refugees have relocated. 

This is a fragile arrangement, with ambulances taking critical cases such as emergency cesarean sections and infants in need of neonatal incubators from the field services to Idlib. Additionally, they can no longer provide nutritional meals to their patients or their families, meaning harder recoveries and higher malnutrition-related health complications.

So far, COHI has raised $100,000 to continue to sustain this valuable healthcare resource for those who remain inside war-torn Aleppo. However, additional funding is needed to continue the level of care provided in these units, as well as restart their nutritional program.

Additionally, COHI trained seven Syrian midwives in Emergency Obstetric Care and equipped them with much needed supplies and medicines, including ayzh clean birth kits, to care for the women left in war-torn Syria. The 3-day training workshop sponsored by Every Mother Counts and co-hosted with Human Appeal was held in Gaziantep, Turkey, and covered topics such as postpartum hemorrhage management, neonatal resuscitation, emergency obstetric care, and global health training for midwives in low resource settings.

COHI will continue to support these midwives with additional supplies and training as needed to sustain this crucial lifeline for the mothers and infants in Syria.