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MSF in Syria, 2010
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During 2010, MSF carried out medical activities in Damascus, the capital of Syria, in partnership with the local organisation Migrant’s Office.
According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, around 152,000 Iraqi refugees were registered in Syria in July 2010. Far more are living in the country without official refugee status. Estimates of how many vary between 200,000 and 1.1 million. Without documentation permitting their stay in Syria, many refugees and asylum seekers are living in precarious conditions: they are excluded from healthcare and suffer political neglect and marginalisation. Syria is also host to migrants and refugees from Afghanistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and other countries in the region, who are living in similarly precarious conditions.
A Migrants’ Office–MSF medical team of doctors, gynaecologists and a psychologist work in the clinic in the centre of the city. They provide basic healthcare services, reproductive and sexual health consultations and mental healthcare to the most vulnerable Iraqi refugees and migrants living in Damascus, as well as to other vulnerable residents.
Last year, more than 6,200 patients received medical care. Staff held more than 1,000 antenatal consultations and deliveries were referred to the public university teaching hospital in Damascus. More than 1,000 patients received mental healthcare through individual consultations and group sessions.
MSF has worked in Syria since 2009.