The story of Abdul: relieving lifelong chronic pain

Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation

Abdul is a 60-year-old man from southern Idleb, Syrian Arab Republic, who suffered from lifelong knee problems. Demoralized, in pain and struggling to move, Abdul had visited his local primary health facility but they were unable to provide a long-term solution. As Al-Sham Central Hospital is within safe distance of his home, he decided to take a chance as a last resort.

His doctor, Dr Mohammed explains, “Abdul’s case was a big challenge for us as this was our first knee-replacement surgery. We took time to prepare and ensure everything was in place. The operation went very well and we are proud”.

After surgery, Abdul was monitored for several days in recovery and was thereafter transferred to the physiotherapy centre for rehabilitation. The lower limb muscles were weak and needed to be strengthened. “After my surgery and physiotherapy sessions, my condition began to improve gradually. It was a great feeling to regain my ability to walk, after all this time,” says Abdul with a smile on his face.

Abdul has made a full recovery, having full movement in this knee joint, and no longer suffers any pain. Dr Mohammed adds, “I’m so happy to see the positive results of our work, and the immeasurable impact it has had on the patient’s life”.

Al-Sham Central Hospital is one of the few remaining referral facilities for people affected by the crisis in northern Hama and southern Idleb. The facility provides all types of surgical operations, with over 65 highly qualified staff, and equipment including 2 operating theatres, X-ray and computerized tomography (CT) machines, a fully functioning laboratory and more.

From its field office in Gaziantep, Turkey, WHO, with funding from Japan, provides support to the hospital to make sure wages are paid for all staff, that the supply chain, purchase of medicines and laboratory tests can be maintained, and that 2 ambulances are operational.