In northeast Syria, MSF has partnered with local health authorities in a COVID-19 humanitarian taskforce, providing training and supporting preparedness measures to help healthcare workers during the crisis. Our COVID-19 work in northeast Syria has focused on three sites: Al Hassakeh National Hospital, Al Hol camp and Raqqa National Hospital. To date, the pandemic has not affected northeast Syria as rapidly as first expected.
Following conversations with the community and local authorities, MSF has handed our COVID-19 activities in Al Hassekeh National Hospital to local health authorities. MSF teams created a 48-bed isolation ward in the hospital, and introduced surveillance measures, processes for case identification and patient care, patient flow and triage, and supported training of staff. Our teams remain on standby, ready to provide support should we see a rise in COVID-19 cases in the region.
In Al Hol camp, where MSF started providing medical and humanitarian assistance in January 2019, the overcrowded camp now houses around 65,000 people, 94 per cent of whom are women and children. We continue to run an inpatient therapeutic feeding centre and a wound care program for those who cannot reach the clinics, while also providing water and sanitation support in the camp. We have also started mapping vulnerable people who are more likely to develop severe illnesses as a result of COVID-19 and are sharing targeted health awareness messages and hygiene kits accordingly. We are preparing to reorganise the feeding centre for care of COVID-19 patients if required.
We continue to support the Raqqa National Hospital in their emergency, surgery and inpatient activities, and are continuing our routine vaccination activities and assessments of health and humanitarian needs for those living in informal settlements.