Jordan: Paediatric hospital opens in Zaatari camp

20 Mar 2013
Press release

PRESS RELEASE: MSF has opened a 24-hour paediatric hospital in Zaatari camp to respond to the needs of the escalating number of Syrian refugees in the country.

Over the last three months, escalating violence in Syria has caused an unprecedented flow of refugees into neighbouring countries. According to the Jordanian authorities, an estimated number of 400,000 are now living in the country.

Zaatari camp, located 10 km east of the Jordanian town of Mafraq, has become a makeshift home to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees.

Set up in July 2012, its population has sharply expanded and the camp has exceeded its capacity of 60,000 refugees.

Appeals from Jordanian government

Zaatari Camp, close to the Syrian border, where over 60,000 Syria refugees reside.
© Enass Abu Khalaf/MSF

Medical assistance from the local authorities and humanitarian organisations has been gradually overwhelmed, leading to important gaps and giving way to an international appeal for assistance from the Government of Jordan.

“Since the camp opened, the medical needs of its population have been of great concern to MSF.

"Critical sectors of medical aid, such as paediatric care and immunisation coverage are now at the limit of what is acceptable,” said Antoine Foucher, MSF Head of Mission in Jordan.

“In response, MSF has opened a 24-hour paediatric hospital with an operational capacity of 30 beds and three emergency beds.

"The hospital shall receive cases of child patients of one month up to 10 years old,” added Foucher.

MSF is an independent, neutral and impartial organisation offering medical support to those whose lives have been affected by conflict and natural disasters.

MSF in Jordan

It has been present in Jordan since August 2006 and continues to receive Syrian and other patients affected by conflict at its surgical hospital in Amman, where it offers specialised surgical interventions.