In 1969, the Palestinian National Council officially endorsed Palestine Red Crescent Society as the National Red Crescent Society of all Palestinians. Immediately thereafter, work began to ensure the best health, preventive, therapeutic and social services to Palestinian refugee communities across Syria. To this end, many mobile and permanent clinics, hospitals and health centers were opened. PRCS currently runs 3 hospitals, 9 clinics, a medical center and several units offering a wide array of services including in the fields of physiotherapy and prosthetics.
Despite the crisis which erupted in Syria in 2011 and affects both Syrians and Palestinian communities in the country, PRCS continues to provide support as well as health and medical services to those in need. It has saved many lives in and around Al A’ideen and Al Yarmouk refugee camps in Homs and Damascus with the help of staff at PRCS’ Bissan and Falasteen hospitals. PRCS’ ambulances played a major role in transporting wounded refugees to hospitals, in particular to Falasteen hospital where the operating rooms worked around the clock to save lives.
Eight PRCS’ staff have lost their lives in the line of duty in Syria since 2011.
PRCS made relentless efforts to develop its services, centers and hospitals in Syria with a view to providing enhanced services to the largest number of people. Its hospitals employ experienced and specialized staff and enjoy a good reputation including among Syrians themselves. Despite difficult security conditions and shortages of medical supplies, PRCS’ hospitals continue to operate and to provide their unique services to all those in need.
PRCS currently runs 3 hospitals in Syria: Yaffa Hospital, Falasteen Hospital and Bissan Hospital.
Yaffa Medical Complex and Hospital
Located in Al Mazzeh (Damascus), Yaffa hospital was established in 1970 with a view to providing medical and health services to Palestinian militants injured in Lebanon during the period from 1970 to the mid-1990s. The hospital has 35 beds as well as many specialized wards including a state-of-the-art Central Laboratory and Pathology Unit, a Prosthodontics Unit inaugurated in 2002, a surgical dental clinic, an atelier for the production of medical supplies and instruments, and an Emergency Medical Centre equipped with six ambulances and a team of paramedics.
Falasteen Medical Complex and Hospital
Located in Damascus, this complex serves both Al Yarmouk and Falasteen refugee camps which are home to the largest Palestinian community in Syria. Established in 1994 with six beds only, Falasteen hospital grew rapidly and by the end of 1996 had a bed capacity of 60 beds. The hospital offers a variety of services and specialties including an X-ray, endoscopy and ultrasound ward, a laboratory, four operating rooms, an Intensive Care Unit, an obstetrics and incubator ward and a 24/7 emergency ward. The hospital also runs a prosthetics manufacturing unit created in 1983 in cooperation with ICRC and the Swedish Red Cross whose staff were trained by international experts. Most of the Complex’s sections and wards have ceased their operations in 2013 as a result of the Syrian crisis.
Despite dire conditions and the displacement of thousands of inhabitants from Al Yarmouk camp, Falasteen hospital continues to provide basic First Aid, obstetrics and physiotherapy services. Most other services have ceased due to the lack of medical supplies, medicine and staff.
Created in 1982 in Al A’ideen refugee camp in Homs to cater to the health and medical needs of Palestinian refugees in northern Syria (Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia), Bissan hospital has a total capacity of 50 beds as well as wards covering various specialties including surgery, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics and neonatal services, urology and neurology. It also runs 3 operating rooms, an Intensive Care Unit, x-ray and laboratory services and a number of outpatient clinics.
PRCS’ promoted and developed Primary Health Care in more than 20 health centers across Syria. Currently, the Society runs the nine following clinics:
Falasteen Dental Clinic: Created in 1969 at Al Yarmouk refugee camp, this clinic was forced to close in 2013 due to the crisis in Syria.
Sbeineh Clinic: Created in 1980 in Sbeineh Camp in Damascus, this clinic provided general health services. It was forced to close in 2013 due to the crisis in Syria.
Dooma Clinic: Created in 1980 in the countryside near Damascus, this clinic provided general health and laboratory services. It was forced to close in 2012 due to the crisis in Syria.
Al Quds Clinic: Created in 1982 in Al Raml refugee camp (Lattakia), this clinic offers general health, gynecology, dental and laboratory services.
Hama Clinic: Created in 1982 in Hama refugee camp, this clinic offers general health, pediatrics, dermatology, gynecology, ENT and laboratory services.
Khan Dannoun Clinic: Created in 1988 in Khan Dannoun refugee camp in the countryside near Damascus, this clinic offers general health services.
Al Karmel Dental Clinic: Created in 1983 in Al Yarmouk refugee camp (Damascus), this clinic has ceased to operate as a consequence of supply shortages caused by the Syrian crisis.
Aleppo Clinic: Created in 2015 in Al Nayrab refugee camp in Aleppo, this clinic offers general health, pediatrics, dermatology, gynecology and ENT services. In cooperation with UNICEF, psychological support is also provided in particular to children from the camp and to Syrians from neighboring villages.
Deir Yassine Specialized Complex: Opened in 1981 in Al Yarmouk refugee camp (Damascus), this complex was renovated and refurbished in 1997. It offers general health, orthopedics, pediatrics, dermatology, ophthalmology, ENT, obstetrics and gynecology, urology, neurology and electrocardiography services. The complex also runs a physiotherapy center opened in 1983. Services offered by the complex were reduced as a result of the Syrian crisis.
Youths and Volunteers Department
This department oversees PRCS’ volunteers in Aleppo (Al Nayrab refugee camp), Homs (Al A’ideen refugee camp), Damascus (Al Yarmouk refugee camp) as well as in the city of Damascus. It is the umbrella under which various activities including First Aid, disaster management and skill enhancement courses are organized.
Emergency Medical Services Department
The department operates 7 ambulances (5 in Damascus, 2 in Homs) and owns a 7-car fleet. It transports sick and wounded patients from Al Yarmouk and Khan Al Sheikh refugee camps to hospitals and ensures the transport of patients from one hospital to another. The department also transports the dead from Damascus hospitals to Al Yarmouk camp in coordination with the relevant authorities