In Irbid, a city in northern Jordan, it is bustling with student life – a scenario much different from the country’s capital, Amman.
During our Singapore Team’s visit to the city, partners from Islamic Help Jordan brought them to a medical clinic that we at Global Ehsan Relief are helping to sponsor some of the patients there. Started five years ago in 2016, the medical clinic is dedicated to serve refugee women – mostly Syrian refugee women – and at times welcomes Palestinian refugees too.
The medical clinic provides the birth campaign packages, which give crucial medical support and monthly check-ups for these disadvantaged refugee women.
Once a month, these refugee women will come by bus from their refugee camps to the clinic for a monthly review and medical check-up. By the 8th month of their pregnancy, the expectant mother will be assessed by the doctor on whether she has to undergo a normal birth procedure or a caesarean section procedure. However the woman will not be giving birth in the clinic, but will be sent to the hospital as it is much safer for them.
Mira Shboul, 27, has been working at the clinic since February 2021. She works six days a week and is the only doctor working in the clinic. She tells us that she rarely takes off days because of her responsibility to the clinic and her patients. There is also a dentist who works at the clinic, providing dental services for the refugees as well.
“Some of the women that come here are as young as 14, 15 years old. Unfortunately they are not educated enough, and even their husbands are as young as 20 years old.”
Dr Mira Shboul
The birth campaign package also means that the refugee women are receiving these medical check-ups without any fee needed, and this is all made possible thanks to the contributions by generous donors.
“Especially if they come in the first or second month, they will get it free because we have time to find funding for her and donors to support her,” explained Dr Khalid, the head of Islamic Help Jordan.
As a result of the clinic’s free services, refugee women from all over the country visit the clinic in Irbid – even Syrian refugee women living as far as 380 kilometers away in Aqaba, in Southernmost Jordan. For them, the bus journey could take up to seven hours.
Besides funding the costs of the medical check-ups and birth procedures, the clinic also provides the expectant mothers with a full baby care set to ease their first few weeks into motherhood. The baby set includes clothes, socks and mittens – which are crucial especially during the cold season to protect the baby and provide them with warmth.
Unfortunately, the clinic is facing increasing pressure as a result of COVID-19. They are getting less and less funding but are seeing more and more women coming to them. The clinic which used to take in only 27 patients monthly is now seeing more than 85 women giving birth.
On top of that, COVID-19 has increased the financial constraints of both the clinic and the patients. Funds are needed to continue paying the rent for the clinic as well the salaries of the doctors. For the refugee mothers, some of them are forced to pay for their birth procedure, amounting to 165 JD ($232 USD) for a normal procedure and 360 JD ($507 USD) for a caesarean section procedure.
However with your help, we aim to continue providing funding to the clinic so that they are able to continue with their crucial efforts and support for the refugee women.
“The future plan is to buy this land and we can extend this place to make it like a medical centre.”
Together, we can provide these refugee women with the best start to their motherhood journey.
“For the women, after they give birth they smile. After relieving the pain they smile. Just like life too, after the struggle, comes the relief,” Dr Khalid said.
With your contributions, we can help build a safer medical environment for mothers and mothers-to-be living in displacement camps. Contribute to our Birth Campaign for Refugees and change the world one birth at a time.