Volunteers screen over 1,000 displaced Syrians living in Jordan
BOL and SAMS volunteers
Bridge of Life (BOL) partnered with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) in early April to screen 1,001 Syrian refugees in Irbid, Jordan for chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease.
Over the course of six days, eight DaVita Kidney Care teammates volunteered with BOL to screen Syrian adults and provide health education to prevent chronic disease and promote healthy lifestyles. Funding shortfalls have severely comprised the ability of aid organizations to continue providing expensive ongoing dialysis services to Syrian refugees with kidney failure in a sustainable way. This mission offered refugees early detection and control of kidney disease to slow or prevent its progression so that costly dialysis treatment can be avoided. Patients with high-risk test results received consultations with a nephrologist and were enrolled in a routine follow-up program to slow progression of their disease.
Majd Isreb, SAMS mission leader and board member, said, "We added an innovative component to this mission by including renal ultrasound to address some of the common causes of kidney disease that are common in the region. As a nephrologist who has been on many SAMS missions before, I've never felt more impactful than during this mission."
During the mission, volunteers had the opportunity to listen to individuals not only share the daily struggles they encounter as refugees but also their stories of determination and resilience.
"Many heard about the Syrian crisis on TV and in the media and read about it in the newspaper," said Maryam Ashtiani, Dietitian, DaVita Kidney Care and BOL volunteer. "Many hurried to send donations. Many just prayed. But many, like BOL and SAMS, pulled their sleeves up and organized a medical mission. I was fortunate and honored to be chosen for this amazing and life-changing opportunity. Hearing about Syrian refugees on TV is nothing like holding their hands and hearing their stories."
BOL will continue to partner with both DaVita and SAMS and plans to return to this region to provide additional screening and healthcare services for Syrian refugees.
BOL is a nonprofit organization founded by DaVita, Inc. and operating under DaVita Village Trust, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity. BOL improves access to primary care and dialysis treatment in underserved communities around the world while also focusing on prevention of kidney disease through early-detection testing and education. BOL serves thousands of men, women and children through four programs: kidney care, primary care, prevention and education, and kids' camps. For more information, please click here.
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