Washington DC- The passing of Resolution 2401 has not stopped the violence in Ghouta as at least 500 were killed and thousands were wounded since the resolution passed on February 24, 2018. In addition, at least 26 medical facilities have been systematically targeted and put out of service leaving an already vulnerable population with very limited access to healthcare. There was also a suspected chemical attack on March 7, as victims’ clothing smelled like chlorine, and were suffering from wheezing, hypoxia, coughing, and no change in pupils; all consistent with symptoms of a chlorine gas attack.
Today, at least 27 civilians were killed, including one paramedic. In addition, the Arbeen Hospital was attacked and put out of service as the violence continues in eastern Ghouta.
At least 1100 have been killed since February 18, including nine health workers. Over 4000 civilians have been wounded. At least 100,000 of the estimated 400,000 civilians in eastern Ghouta were recently displaced, with no shelter.
The people in Ghouta are experiencing extreme hardships and are struggling to survive as most have taken refuge in underground basements. Many are suffering from breathing problems from the moldy and wet conditions. At least half of the people in these basements are children. The people are hungry with very little access to food and drinking water.
Dr. Amani Ballour, a doctor inside Ghouta sent out a plea on Sunday to anyone who would listen, about the deteriorating situation in Ghouta saying, “Eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged for over five years, and has witnessed the worst types of siege, bombardment and starvation, is living today in catastrophic conditions in every way, shape and form. The medical situation is always extremely terrible. For the past 20 days we have received large numbers of wounded victims. In the one hospital I work in we admit almost 100 wounded every day. Unfortunately, most of the wounded are women and children. We have a major shortage in medical staff, in medical supplies, we are doing the best that we can, but we can’t keep up with the large numbers of wounded. We have been talking about the situation for over five years, we have been sending our messages to the United Nations, to the international community, and to humanitarian organizations. Everything that is happening is known all over the world, media is being distributed directly from inside Ghouta to all media outlets and venues, but the world is closing their ears to what the people of Ghouta are saying. There are over 400,000 civilians with over 100,000 children. Unfortunately, the pictures of our bloodied, wounded and killed children is not affecting people around the world. What is the world waiting for to help save the 400,000 civilians?”
Dr. Ghanem Tayara, Chair of UOSSM International said, “Resolution 2401 passed 16 days ago, and we still have 609 cancer patients, 188 of which are children, and 27 that have already died from lack of treatment. Thousands of injured civilians cannot be treated due to lack of medical supplies. We need action to be taken now. The civilians in Ghouta need immediate protection, they need aid, they need food and water. The hospitals need medical supplies and medicines. We urge the UN and the international community to enforce the resolution now, before it is too late. Thousands of lives are hanging in the balance.”