UOSSM Awarded Innovation Grant to Develop Health Integrated Resilience System in Syria
Texas-UOSSM’s HIRS project was awarded a $250,000 innovation grant by ‘Grand Challenges Canada’. The grant will help develop the HIRS (Health Integrated Resilience System) for medical aid in conflict zones.The HIRS project will combine solar energy, electric ambulances and tele-medicine to deliver life saving aid in the world’s most challenging war zones.
Dr Monzer Yazji, President of UOSSM USA and co-founder of UOSSM, presented at the Concordia Conference in New York on Tuesday September 25, where the award finalists for the grant were announced. Over 615 proposals were submitted from 83 countries and UOSSM was of three awardees chosen to present their project at the conference. 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 eight Syrian doctors from around the world and has member organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, 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 stressed 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. This invention delivers the same quality and outcomes as preexisting vacuums with a production cost of less than $100 and is currently used throughout northern Syria.
UOSSM also led the way in telemedicine technology in a time when there was, and continues to be, a major shortage of doctors in war-torn Syria. This initiative enabled 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 in 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 telemedicine to assist in medical care.”