Gwen Eamer

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Worried sick – Red Cross Red Crescent hospital cares for Syrian refugees with mental health needs

Looking around Azraq refugee camp, in Jordan’s north-eastern desert, life seems peaceful, if rudimentary. Children run and play in the camp’s streets, parents shop at the central supermarket, and social and religious activities are growing as refugee families re-establish connections with neighbours. Some Syrian residents can be seen with crutches or other medical equipment, recovering from lingering wounds or long-untreated chronic illnesses.

Red Cross Red Crescent hospital a sign of hope to Syrian refugees who have suffered extreme loss

Yasmin sits in the paediatric ward of the Red Cross Red Crescent hospital in Azraq refugee camp, holding her two-month-old twin boys as they cough and wheeze. She appears calm and composed as she rubs the back of first Nadim and then Mohammed Nur. Both boys have developed an infection in the airways that lead to their lungs. The twins were born in Jordan days after Yasmin, 28, crossed the border as a refugee with her husband and two children.

Syrian refugee uses skills from interrupted studies as Red Cross hospital volunteer

Nawaf was three years into a challenging five-year bachelor’s degree in computer and information engineering in Damascus when the ongoing Syrian conflict forced him to put his dreams on pause. His family had already fled the country some 18 months before, but Nawaf, 24, and the oldest of seven siblings, stayed behind.

Red Cross hospital treats Syrian refugee girl with months-old bullet wound

Nine-year-old Amnah arrived at the Azraq Syrian refugee camp in eastern Jordan scared and in pain. She had already spent three months being bumped from house to house, community to community, before being shuttled across Syria’s southern border with Jordan in the hopes of reaching safety – and medical care. Now one of nearly 12,000 Syrian refugees living in the Azraq camp, she has yet to see her new home, meet her neighbours or visit her future school. Instead, she has spent her first 10 days at Azraq in the Red Cross Red Crescent hospital, where the medical team is helping her to heal from a three-month-old gunshot wound.

Red Cross teams at the forefront of the Ebola response in Guinea

Mamadou Saidon Bah wakes up each morning not knowing if he will spend his day grading student assignments and preparing lectures for his work as a teacher, or if he will instead lead a group of young volunteers from the local Red Cross branch on a mission to collect the body of yet another victim of the growing Ebola epidemic.

Ebola response: Hands-on in a world without touch

How many times did you touch someone today: a family member, a friend, a colleague, the person beside you on the bus? How many times did you rub your eyes, touch your lips, scratch your nose? A world without touch is strange thing, and a humanitarian mission where you’re not allowed to touch other people is both physically and mentally challenging.

Canadian Red Cross worker journeys to Guinea to support Ebola relief

Sometimes getting there is half the battle. In reality the journey is more like one per cent of the battle, but when flights stand between you and your mission, it can feel like the biggest battle of all. I'm five flights into a seven-leg journey to Conakry, the capital of Ebola-affected Guinea, with every flight bringing me closer to supporting the regional Red Cross team providing services to the West African countries affected by the outbreak.

World Health Day: Preventing the spread of dengue around the globe

Natural disasters like storms, earthquakes and floods make news around the world, but health emergencies are silently affecting hundreds of millions of lives every year. The recent Ebola outbreak in Guinea—which the Red Cross is working to help contain—is a rare example of public health emergencies becoming global news. One of the most silent, and rapidly growing, health emergencies in the spread of dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitos.

Emergency field hospital handed over to Philippine Red Cross

More than three months after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, the Canadian Red Cross has handed over the field hospital it deployed in November 2013 to the Philippine Red Cross. This will allow the Philippine Red Cross to provide basic health care to a community of 30,000 people in the event of a future emergency. 

What's Clint Eastwood's superpower? Abdominal thrusts.

Clint Eastwood is a force to be reckoned with, known for his acting, directing and now...abdominal thrusting. While the world was recovering from the Super Bowl and preparing for the start of the Sochi Olympics, Clint Eastwood was using his first aid skills to save a life. When the director of a local golf tournament began to choke on a piece of cheese, the film icon sprung into action, performing three textbook-perfect abdominal thrusts to save his friend.

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The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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