Jordan: MSF Opens new Clinic to treat Chronic Diseases near Syrian Border

Ton Koene

New York/Amman, March 31, 2016—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) officially opened a new health center in the northern Jordanian town of Al Ramtha on Thursday, to meet some of the chronic health needs of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in the town.

Jordan is host to around 660,000 registered refugees with many more who are unregistered. Around 100,000 Syrians live in camps, where access to health care is comparatively easy. But for those living outside camps, getting a diagnosis and treatment for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and hypertension can be difficult because of the cost of treatment.

“Treatment for chronic diseases can be as much as 40 Jordanian dinars per month for refugees, and with many of them struggling financially, this can a very heavy burden on them,” said Manuel Lopez Iglesias, MSF’s Head of Mission in Jordan.

Opened under agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Health, the clinic aims to relieve some of the burden of health care for Syrian refugees on their host population.

The clinic in Al Ramtha—home to an estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees—will provide medical consultations, basic laboratory tests, and treatment to Syrian refugees and Jordanians who are not covered by health insurance. The clinic will be open five days a week, and offer all services free of charge.

MSF has two other clinics for treating chronic diseases for Syrian refugees in Irbid, as well as a maternity unit and mental health project for Syrian refugees. Also, MSF runs an emergency trauma surgery unit in Al Ramtha hospital, and a regional hospital for reconstructive surgery for victims of war in Amman.

Ramtha, a city in northeastern Jordan just three miles from the Syrian border and only a little further from the Syrian town of Daraa.
Ton Koene