Swansea ABMU doctors treat hundreds of Syrian refugees

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Media captionZubair Wani and Haroon Ali set up a clinic in the Adana camp. Footage by Rosie-Lyse Thompson.

Two doctors from Swansea have helped treat hundreds of Syrian refugees as part of a humanitarian trip to Turkey.

Zubair Wani and Haroon Ali set up a clinic in the Adana camp with limited supplies during the trip, on their own time and at their own expense.

They raised more than £15,000 before travelling over and took donated antibiotics, painkillers, creams and dressings.

They described the situation there as “heartbreaking”.

Image copyright Haroon Ali/ ABMU Health Board
Image caption Zubair Wani and Haroon Ali set up a clinic in the Adana camp

There are almost five million refugees as a result of the Syrian conflict, with poor sanitation and risk of disease rife in camps such as Adana – an hour from the border – home to about 7,000 men, women and children.

Dr Ali, a junior doctor at Morriston Hospital, said: “The situation was desperate. Living conditions were extremely poor.

“Around 10 people would live on the floors of makeshift tents. These people hadn’t seen a doctor for years.

“We encountered a wide variety of conditions, from primary care problems to problems caused by the living conditions, which were hygiene-related.

“A lot of the children were dehydrated, malnourished and had fevers.”

Image copyright Haroon Ali / ABMU Health Board
Image caption Children at the camp where the doctors visited

Dr Wani, a trainee GP working in palliative care at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, said the Syrians were some of the most welcoming and hospitable people he had ever met and had insisted on offering the doctors tea and meals – despite their own circumstances.

He added: “Women and children worked the fields in the sweltering heat to support their families.

“The toilets consisted of a small tent with a hole in the ground flanked by two sandbags, with waste collecting on the other side.

“There were flies collecting on the other side, and these flies were also in contact with people’s food.

“Needless to say, the potential for disease was evident.”

Image copyright Haroon Ali/ ABMU Health Board
Image caption The doctors distributing supplies

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