Physiotherapists Aiding in the Syrian Conflict

Physiotherapists from the UK are travelling to Turkey to help treat patients who have been injured in the continuing Syrian conflict.  Although Physiotherapy is not currently formally regulated in Turkey, and does not have the status of being an autonomous profession, a need for specialist rehabilitation has been identified and aid is being offerred.

Zaheer Hussain, a locum musculoskeletal physio from Manchester in the UK, has recently returned from five weeks of work  at a recently-developed rehabilitation centre near Antakya on the Turkish-Syrian border.  Whilst there he trained Syrian physiotherapists to treat patients wounded in their country’s internal conflict.  The five Syrian physios with whom he worked had little understanding of physiotherapy as practised in the UK, and provided only basic massage and pain relief.  Each physio carried a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator machine at all times, which the patients continually requested. But the physios would not work on muscle strengthening or increasing joint mobility.  As a result of the observation that no-one was getting better he started to offer basic anatomy lessons, and also introduced the concept of keeping medical notes. There were many other cultural difficulties to overcome including smoking with patients, thoughts of family still in Syria and the the rush to return to the conflict.  Read more about Zaheer’s trip to aid in Syria.

Six physiotherapists from Blackpool are travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border to help treat patients who have been injured in the continuing Syrian conflict.  A On a previous trip a lack of rehabilitation facilities was identified for the very varied conditions including gunshot wounds and amputations.  Not much is known about the level of experience among local teams, or who is responsible for the treatment, but one thing the team aims to do is set up a documentation system so that there is continuation of care. Read more about this next aid trip.