Who We Are
Dünya Doktorları Derneği (Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde - Turkey) is a Turkey-based humanitarian non-governmental organisation that facilitates access to healthcare for populations affected by armed conflict, violence, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty and exclusion.
Our organisation collaborates with partners and key stakeholders to implement projects that facilitate access to primary and secondary healthcare services and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services to respond to the medical needs of displaced population.
Dünya Doktorları Derneği (DDD) is the 16th member of the Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde - MdM) International Network that is committed to meeting the health needs of vulnerable people globally.
Responding to the humanitarian crises emerged in the region from within the crisis DDD seeks out marginalized populations and builds necessary infrastructures for long-term and sustainable healthcare services in areas society would prefer to ignore.
‘‘We relieve the world’s pain and wounds.’’
Since 2015, DDD implements programmes in both Turkey and Syria offering free access to healthcare services to refugee and internally displaced populations.
DDD works with a range of humanitarian professionals and technical experts to provide Primary Healthcare (PHC), Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) as well as sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services.
As DDD, our mission is to provide support to all people who are excluded from the health system, since at least half of the world’s population ─ particularly children, women and refugees ─ lack access to essential health services and medical care due to global injustice and misuse of resources.
DDD’s mission is to provide lifesaving and life-sustaining medical care to those most in need by assisting populations in distress, victims of natural: man-made disasters or armed conflicts.
We believe in inclusive social justice as a vehicle for equal access to healthcare, respect for fundamental rights and collective solidarity. We aim to provide gender-sensitive services to ensure the inclusion and meaningful access for individuals in every gender, age, and diversity, through participation and empowerment.
With our partners, communities, and their representatives, we work to empower all culturally, socially, and physically vulnerable populations to act within their social environment, to become actors in their own health and to exercise their rights. We seek balance between national and international action, between emergency and long-term actions.
DDD’s organizational values as reflected in our operations and staff are threefold:
1- A human-centered rights based approach
2- Accountability toward our donors and beneficiaries
3- An inclusive approach regardless of gender, age, status, disability etc.**
With an estimated four million refugees, Turkey hosts the largest number of migrants and refugees in the world.
Syrians constitute the largest proportion of refugees with about 3.6 million living across the country, while another 400,000 migrants from Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries have also sought asylum or migrated to Turkey.
The majority of migrants and refugees lives amongst host communities in urban and rural areas of Istanbul, Izmir and Hatay, the provinces having the highest number of Syrian refugees and migrants in the country.
Health needs are considerably high among the migrant and refugee populations, particularly among Syrians.
War-trauma compounded by the subsequent displacements and poor living conditions have led to increase Syrian refugees’ vulnerability to health risks. Many suffer from chronic diseases, physical injuries and/or impairments as well as from mental health and psychosocial issues.
According to DDD’s 2019 multi-sectoral needs assessment, 55% of the surveyed households have at least one member who regularly feel distressed, upset, sad, worried, scared, or angry.
The conflict and its subsequent displacements combined with poor living conditions in Turkey have had serious consequences on refugees’ psychological wellbeing, with a particularly adverse impact on women, elderly and children.
Migrants and refugees living in rural areas tend to face additional barriers and have little to no access to healthcare services due to distance, financial constraints and lack of information on available services.
DDD focuses on implementing activities that meet refugees and migrants’ most pressing needs by providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) as well as primary health care (PHC) through Medical Mobile Units (MMUs) in İstanbul, İzmir and Hatay.
Through its MMUs in the rural areas of Bayraklı and Torbalı districts of Izmir and in Manisa, DDD provides PHC services, medical and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) consultations, preventive screening sessions and supports referrals to its Izmir MHPSS Centre and PHC facilities.
In its Community Center in Fatih (Istanbul), DDD aimed at promoting the integration of Sub-Saharan African refugees, migrants and asylum seekers into the host population and the public health services. In accordance with this purpose, DDD provided awareness and health promotion group sessions, case management and orientation services as well as language classes and legal counselling at its community center.
Within the context of its Syria Programme, DDD ensures the provision of PHC, SRH and MHPSS services both to the displaced and host populations in Aleppo and Idlib governorates of Syria through direct implementation and implementing partners.
In 2018, DDD began operations in Turkish-controlled areas of northwest Syria (NWS). At the beginning of 2019, MdM-France handed over its North-West-Syria programmes to DDD.
DDD and partners are now providing PHC, SRH and MHPSS services across 17 Health facilities, and one BEmONC center, directly reaching more than half-a-million individuals in NWS Syria.
Values and Principles
It is easy to fight for adorable causes that grab headlines—we seek out and stand alongside different groups. We defend people whom society would prefer to ignore. A crisis often highlights larger issues, and we see medical injustices as more than merely temporary emergencies with a quick fix. We bear witness, spotlight perennial issues, and create sustainable, robust healthcare infrastructure solutions.
We are on a different timeline from most. Instead of dropping in with experts and aid to quickly help in a crisis, we stay well after the cameras have left, sometimes decades, until the local healthcare infrastructure is sustainable. When disaster does strike, we target remote communities often ignored by other organizations and provide long-term medical support and training to native groups in need.
Marginalized populations are often portrayed as victims reliant on others’ benevolence. Although we all need emergency medical care during a crisis, in the period following a disaster, we work proactively to empower local groups, communities, and medical experts to build more sustainable and robust healthcare infrastructures.
Médecins du Monde’s logo was designed in November 1987 by Richard Rossin. The dove symbolises peace and medical care. The branch represents the five continents, and the blue represents their natural links, which are the sky and the sea. The dove symbolically transcends borders and is drawn in a circle, which represents the world.