04/25/2013, 00.00
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Karak, a Catholic hospital for the Syrians fleeing from war and refugee camps

Located in the south of Jordan, the institute helps more than 30 thousand Syrians camped in the desert. Life in the UN camps on the border is now impossible, in a few months even the most essential aid will run out. Sister Adele Fumagalli, "we base our service on charity and we welcome these people who are struggling in silence."

Karak (AsiaNews) - The war in Syria and the overcrowding in refugee camps is forcing more people to seek "salvation" in the Jordanian desert hundreds of miles from the capital Amman and the Syrian border. Interviewed by AsiaNews, Sister Adele Fumagalli, a Comboni religious in the Italian Karak hospital, describes the tragedy of those who are trying to escape from the horrors of war and the refugee camps. Every day the hospital opens its doors to dozens of pregnant women, orphaned children, young fathers whose dying wives have entrusted their children to them. "In the evening and in the morning - says Sr. Adele - when we are in the chapel, our first thoughts go to those who have crossed the desert to escape in the night ... we base our service on charity and we welcome these people who are struggling in silence".

The nun confesses that the people in the refugee camps are experiencing a dramatic situation of great urgency and insecurity. According to the religious, refugees in Jordan are about 10% of the population and this will force the Hashemite kingdom to open new camps, but the resources of the small state may not be enough, which in less than a year has welcomed more than 500 thousand Syrians. The population is beginning to demand other solutions and in recent weeks there have been numerous protests in various cities in the country. For humanitarian agencies, including the UN, water supply, sanitation, education, medical care will no longer be guaranteed in a few months. To survive, many have fled to Amman. "On the road leading to the capital - said Sister Adele - there are many Syrian children, that were separated from their families during the trip. They are completely left to themselves. To survive they sell cigarettes, tea, or beg passers-by. "

There are currently over 30 thousand Syrians who have settled in the province of Karak. In January, there were about 10 thousand. Most are people who have not found a place in the Zarqa refugee camp, in the north of the country, others come directly from Syria. The lucky ones live in small homes for rent. Up to three families with several children live in a single apartment. Sometimes they also bring the elderly or sick people with them.

"These people - explains Sister Adele - need medical care and hospitalization. We care especially for pregnant women who often have had no pre-natal care, and infants who because of the discomfort, cold, lack of medicines have different diseases ranging from respiratory infections to serious gastrointestinal problems. " The religious sister says that in addition to physical suffering, these people suffer from psychological problems. "A few days ago - she says - a father came to us with his little girl he had lost all his hair from the shock. A majority of the children who come to our hospital have the terror in his eyes."

Founded in 1939, the Italian Hospital of Karak is the only equipped clinic in the region and has about 40 beds. It is supported by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (Cnewa), the special Vatican agency for aid to Catholic Churches and the peoples of the Middle East. To address the emergency in Syria the structure along with Caritas and UNHCR has established a program of assistance and shelter for the needy and the sick.

"Other local organizations - explains Sister Adele Fumagalli - ask for our cooperation. Our hospital remains the reference point for the southern part of Jordan. Our service continues with the support of the Church and of our generous benefactors ". (SC)


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