series event

An insider’s perspective on health in the Syrian conflict: Humanitarian response and a health system in crisis


The Syrian crisis enters its seventh year without clear end point. The humanitarian impact of this crisis is being the biggest in the century. More than half million people were killed, half Syria population are displaced with more than 5 million fled out of the country. This seminar will try to highlight some features of the humanitarian response in Syria as well as the health efforts to re-establish the collapsed health system there.

About the speaker:

Dr. Abdulkarim Ekzayez is a Syrian medical doctor, has graduated on 2010 from the medical school of Aleppo university in Syria with advanced surgery training in Munster University in Germany. Later on, his residency in neurosurgery in Aleppo-Syria was interrupted in its third year by the onset of the Syria conflict in 2013 when he had to move to the north west of Syria providing surgery assistance to those in need in several field hospitals there, where he had done hundreds of cerebral and spinal surgeries.

After several months and because of the spread of serious communicable diseases in Syria as a result of the worsening conditions in the war, he had to focus more on public health and immunization in particular, joining Save the Children International to lead their efforts in this regard.

Currently he is the Save the Children Senior Manager of the Health and Nutrition Programme, based in Antakya with frequent travel inside Syria. He leads a team that is rebuilding the shattered primary health care system in North West Syria, including campaigns to assure Syrian children are immunized against life-threatening diseases, such as polio and measles.

He is responsible for the current Save the Children effort, in cooperation with others, to restart the routine immunization program. In parallel to his work, he is doing currently a master of Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Abdulkarim speaks Arabic, English and some German. In addition to his humanitarian work with SCI, Dr. Abdulkarim is a regular contributor to several medical and civilian societies and institutions in Syria. He is a trustee member of two Syrian NGOs and a consultant of Idleb Health Directorate which is the first structured health directorate in rebels controlled areas in Syria, and he is also a talented poet.

Please visit the link below to view the recording:


Free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.



Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre