Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) was among three finalists invited to attend and present their innovative projects in conflict zones, at the 2018 edition of the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City. The administrator for USAID, Mr. Mark Green, and the Secretary of State for DFID, announced UOSSM as one of the 23 finalists for the Humanitarian Grand Challenge last Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
The finalists were selected from a pool of 615 applicants across 86 countries. The grant will help UOSSM support its innovative project, Health Integrated Resilience System (HIRS), to strengthen the resilience of health systems by integrating solar power, electronic ambulance systems and tele-medicine services, to deliver life-saving aid in the world's most challenging war zones.
Dr. Monzer Yazji, President of UOSSM USA and President & CEO of South Texas Clinical Partner ACO, was invited to present UOSSM's innovative project (HIRS) at the Concordia Annual Summit. Dr. Yazji said, “ We are honored to be chosen for this grant. UOSSM has strived since day one to become an organization of excellence providing the best possible care, using the most advanced equipment and technology, in a cost effective way to help those who need it most in affected communities.”
UOSSM was founded as a humanitarian NGO in January 2012 by Syrian doctors from several countries around the world, and has member organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, France and Turkey. UOSSM’s mission is to deliver the highest quality medical care, with optimal patient experience, to populations in the most stressed areas of the world.
UOSSM has led the way in providing the best quality health services in Syria’s most afflicted and dangerous areas by thoroughly assessing challenges on the ground and adapting experiences of other aid organizations. UOSSM formed data collection and research committees to study, improve, and implement the most effective medical services.
One of the first breakthrough initiatives by UOSSM was the development of a low-cost wound vacuum (wound vac). This invention delivers the same quality and outcomes as preexisting commercial wound vacs, with a production cost of less than $100, and is currently utilized throughout northern Syria.
UOSSM also led the way in tele-medicine technology in a time when there was, and continues to be, a major shortage of doctors in Syria. This initiative enables doctors outside of Syria to provide desperately needed professional assistance and advice to area medics, ultimately assisting in saving lives.
In 2017, UOSSM addressed the lack of a stable and sustainable energy source in hospitals by launching the Syria Solar Initiative. UOSSM successfully installed and commissioned a pilot solar power system at the largest referral hospital in northern Syria, 480 solar panels were successfully installed despite all of the challenges faced in a war zone. The project saves over 7,000 liters of diesel per month. With the success of the pilot, plans are under way by various active partners and entities to install solar power in 40 medical facilities in northern Syria by summer 2019.
Dr. Yazji said, “UOSSM’s mission is to deliver the best quality health services to all people in need in a cost-effective and sustainable way. We strive to be consistent with the highest standards of American healthcare. This project will enable us to further implement this mission by removing the dependence of ambulances on fuel with electric powered vehicles, and bridge the gap in the shortage of doctors by using tele-medicine to assist in medical care.”