Dr. Alexander Lerner (R), head of Orthopedics at Ziv Medical Center, with an 8-year-old Syrian girl whose legs were shattered by an explosion. (Chardonnay/Ziv Medical Center) (Chardonnay/Ziv Medical Center)
Ziv medical center

An Israeli hospital that provides medical treatment to casualties of the Syrian Civil War is seeking assistance in support of its life-saving efforts.  

Ziv Medical Center in northern Israel, which has treated over 700 casualties from the civil war raging in Syria, has launched a campaign to raise funds for medical supplies and other important items necessary for the victims’ recuperation.

The Syrians seeking medical treatment in Israel arrive at the border. Among the injured are children and young adults who arrive unaccompanied, several of whom have lost their families in the fighting. Most of them have sustained severe, complex war injuries from bullets, shrapnel and blast damage, and suffer from internal injuries and amputated limbs.

After receiving initial treatment at a special IDF field hospital established on the border, most of the Syrian casualties are transferred to Ziv hospital.

In contrast with other patients hospitalized there, these casualties are treated over a long period of weeks and even months, without the comfort of a family member by their side, arriving without even the most rudimentary items required for a patient.

In addition to life-saving medical treatment, Ziv provides a physiotherapist as well as support from its social services department to assist the casualties in dealing with their traumatic experiences.

Their time in Israel is limited. After treatment, they will return to unknown circumstances in Syria, where there may not be adequate medical services, hospitals or rehabilitation centers to help them in their recovery. Therefore, Ziv provides the patients with items to assist them upon their return, including medical equipment, medication, bandages and guidance for continued self-treatment.

Ziv’s campaign has already seen a measure of success. Dr. Salman Zarka, the hospital director, thanked all those who have agreed to offer assistance and contributions. “We are awed by the widespread responses we have received and are pleased that the public understands and appreciates the importance of the work done by the staff at Ziv, who work day and night to treat the Syrian casualties,” he stated.

Israel has long been providing aid to Syrian victims of the civil war, which has been ravaging the country for the past half decade. IDF medics and Israeli doctors have treated over 3,000 Syrian patients, while the country has transferred humanitarian aid to Syrian situated adjacent to its border.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is seeking ways to boost its aid to Syria’s swelling refugee population.

In one of the latest civilian ventures launched on Syria’s behalf, Israelis have come together to raise funds for humanitarian aid for the victims.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel