Syria bombings push hospitals ‘beyond breaking point’: MSF
The number of requests for medical supplies has shot up
Syrian air force bombardment of a besieged rebel-held area east of Damascus has left poorly equipped doctors barely able to treat the wounded, a medical charity said Wednesday.
In the besieged Eastern Ghouta area, “the number of patients treated in the hospitals we support has gone beyond breaking point,” said Dr Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
“The number of requests for medical supplies has shot up,” he added.
While Eastern Ghouta has been bombed frequently during a year and a half of suffocating army seige, the strikes in recent weeks have been particularly devastating.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 183 people have been killed in raids in the past 10 days, most of them civilians. Among them were 29 children, said the Britain-based group.
MSF said the strikes hit two medical facilities on February 5, forcing staff and patients to evacuate.
“One nurse was killed on his way to work in a hospital on 8 February,” the international NGO said, adding that hundreds of wounded people have been treated at MSF-supported medical facilities in Eastern Ghouta in recent weeks.
The director of an MSF-supported hospital in Eastern Ghouta meanwhile described the aftermath of a January 23 bombing that hit a crowded market in the rebel-held town of Hammuriyeh.
According to the Observatory, that bombing killed 42 people.
“Paramedics were running and bringing in more wounded people, so I realised there was a catastrophe going on,” said the director, who identified himself only as Dr N.
“Our hospital, like the majority of hospitals in the region, lacks basic equipment and medical consumables, and we have limited capacity for this sort of emergency, both in terms of space and beds,” said the medic.
“Among the most painful cases for us are the children, when we have to amputate a limb to save their life. Such difficult decisions are a real test for doctors with very limited options,” he added.
“The medical situation, and the general living conditions, are beyond any red lines.”
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