TURKEY – Around 30 South African doctors and other medics have crossed the Turkish border into Syria.
They are en route to their final destination, a makeshift hospital in the mountainous region of Darkoush. The remainer of the cohort will be following in due course.
The team arrived at the Syrian border on Sunday with the hope of providing humanitarian aid to Syrian victims of violence.
They form part of the Gift of the Givers humanitarian mission, the largest disaster relief organisation of African origin on the African continent.
Equipped with 1.5 tons of urgently needed medicine and medical gear, the team was waiting in Turkey since Sunday, for the go-ahead to cross the border.
Trauma surgeons, dentists, dieticians and paediatricians will be spending ten days treating victims of the civil war.
The United Nations has estimated 70,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict so far, and more than a million are said to have fled to neighbouring countries.
Much of the country's infrastructure has been destroyed in the violent battles between government troops and opposition rebels over the past two years.
The volunteers were forced to bring in electricity generators and communications systems, as well as find underground water sources.
For more information and a first-hand experience visit eNCA reporter, Yusuf Omar’s blog here.