In Syria, Mohammad rebuilt old houses and historic markets. But since being forced to flee his home, he’s now focused on rebuilding his life and that of his family in Jordan.

“I was a stonemason in Syria,” the 27-year-old explains.

“It was a nice career. I used to travel quite often with my father. We had a stone factory and I worked with my siblings and other relatives. We were happy and content, but we lost everything after the conflict started.”

His family’s factory – and home – were located in Aleppo, one of Syria’s most populous cities, which was devastated by attacks and bombardment. That violence changed Mohammad’s life forever.

“One day after I had finished work and had returned home, an [artillery] shell struck,” Mohammad says.

“I woke up in the hospital. The doctor told me that I had three fractures in my back and was paralysed. I didn’t accept it easily.”

As fighting continued to rage in Aleppo, he remained in the hospital for seven months. The situation deteriorated and eventually there were no doctors left at the hospital. Mohammad says he received neither care nor medication.

“I had an ulcer in my back. It looked like a hole. My status was severe."

When conflict engulfed Mohammad’s hometown of Aleppo he was injured by shrapnel and fled to Jordan in seek of urgent medical care. © UNHCR / H. Maule-ffinch

At least half of the world’s population do not receive the healthcare they need. World Health Day on 7 April is about ensuring all people have access to quality health services where and when they need it, without suffering financial hardship.

When people are forced to flee their homes – often from conflict zones or to remote locations – it can be difficult to access health services. UNHCR strives to ensure that all displaced people are provided with life-saving and essential healthcare, such as medication, vaccinations and reproductive health services.

Unable to access the care he needed in Syria and having lost contact with his family, Mohammad fled to Jordan. Once he reached safety, he received life-saving healthcare in a Jordanian hospital.

Within two weeks, a relative located Mohammad’s immediate family, who were living in Za’atari refugee camp. Reunited and safe, they began considering the next steps for their family – and UNHCR was there to help.

“UNHCR approached me in the hospital and told me they would protect, assist me and provide support,” says Mohammad.

“After I got out of the hospital, UNHCR helped me with surgery and medication.”

With help from UNHCR, Mohammad was able to access quality healthcare and rebuild his life in Jordan. © UNHCR / H. Maule-ffinch

As a particularly vulnerable family, UNHCR also began providing Mohammad, his four younger siblings and their mother with monthly cash assistance.

“Cash assistance is a huge support for our family. It is our survival and our lifeline in Jordan. We could not live without it,” says Mohammad.

Seven years after his arrival in Jordan, Mohammad has found a place for himself in his new home. Most days, he gets in his wheelchair and makes his way to a club for refugees with disabilities, where he has taken a leadership role.

“I meet my friends there and try to unwind. It’s a great relationship. We do many activities together,” says Mohammad.

Mohammad creates necklaces, bracelets, perfumes and soaps, which helps him stay busy and return to his roots as a craftsman, as well as earning a bit of income to help meet his household’s needs.

“We’ve learned how to make crafts, and that’s helped integrate us into the community.”

Everyone, everywhere deserves access to quality healthcare
Find out more

Cash assistance helps Mohammad support his younger siblings. © UNHCR / H. Maule-ffinch

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