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Emirati-Jordanian Field Hospital expands

posted on 18/02/2014: 1386 views

Amman: In an area where health care is barely accessible, a line of portacabins attracts a constant stream of residents. Women, children and families walk across the dusty landscape to line up outside the structure that boasts one of the only hospitals for miles: the Emirati-Jordanian Field Hospital.

This facility, which has been serving Syrian refugees in Jordan as well as hundreds of needy families in the area, sees so much demand that it will be expanded by the end of the month, senior medical professionals announced in Amman yesterday (Thursday).

"The new development will provide a more permanent structure for our ER clinic and our maternity unit, which are still housed in canvas tents. The greater room means that we will now have 10 ER beds, and in-patients in our maternity ward will also be better shielded from the weather,” Dr Khalifa Al Nuaimi, public health and hospital management specialist at the hospital, told Gulf News.

Since its inauguration in August 2012, the facility has treated more than 187,000 patients of all ages. It is located north of the capital Amman, in the Jordanian town of Mafraq that is just about 20 kilometres from the Syrian border.

Patients queue up outside the portacabin structure enclosed by a fence, and wait on metal seats placed outside the clinics. While the facility is open for local residents, many of the patients clutch folded pieces of paper that certify their status as refugees.

A range of medical specialities are offered here by more than 80 medical professionals, including dental, paediatric, cardiological, internal and maternal care. There is also an equipped surgical unit, as well as a laboratory and an area for radiography.

According to Dr Al Nuaimi, the 24-hour hospital, which is supervised by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), sees about a 1,000 patients daily, including about 250 children. The upcoming expansion is expected to attract even more people.

"So far, we have treated more than 2,600 patients with chronic diseases as well, and these people usually stop by twice a month to refill their prescriptions,” he explained.

In addition, the hospital experiences an average of two deliveries a day.

"Women in the area usually opt for traditional home births, and ask for the services of midwives. But of course they prefer to give birth at the hospital, especially because we can transfer them to a specialised surgical unit at the Emirati-Jordanian camp in Az Zarqa if any complications arise,” he added.

Despite the illness of patients, some days at the hospital can be particularly joyful. On Thursday (February 13), for instance, five babies were born at the facility and delighted nurses said that at least three of them had been named after UAE leaders: Zayed, Khalifa, Fatima.

Patients who visit also appear aware of the UAE's commitment towards their well-being.

Najah Hammad Jansi, a Syrian teacher, said she had come to the facility because her daughter had been suffering from a stomach ache.

"We live in Mafraq, and this hospital truly provides much-needed treatment. We had to wait a few hours, but we have no complaints. In fact, many local doctors also have their practices in the surrounding area, and when you are sick, this is where you come,” Jansi said.

Although much of the medical staff is locally recruited, a number of Emirati medical professionals are always present to oversee the hospital or provide patient care.

Dr Al Nuaimi, a doctor at a public hospital in Abu Dhabi, has been on site for about a month now. Dr Ebrahim Al Shamsi is another Emirati doctor who is on site for a six-month stint.

"Being here means we have a really great opportunity to help the needy, and that is why I am happy to be here,” Dr Al Shamsi said. – Gulf News – Read more:


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