Toronto, ON- The medical situation in Ghouta is deteriorating rapidly. Two more infants died this week from lack of medication and malnutrition. Maram, a one year old, died from lack of medication for renal failure. Another baby, Mutasam, also one, died from lack of medication and malnutrition. A total of five infants have died in the past few weeks either from malnutrition or inadequate access to medical care and medicine.
Further complicating the situation, Ghouta was under a fierce bombardment this week, as there were reports of napalm being used in civilian areas, which is prohibited by international law. Yesterday, an ambulance was attacked while serving injured civilians.
On November 8, three medical facilities in Ghouta were attacked.
1) Dar Ashifaa Hospital in Hamouriya was damaged but remains partially operating.
A children’s nursery beside the hospital was hit and was completely destroyed.
2) The Medical Office of Harasta was partially damaged.
3) A private physiotherapy clinic in Sakba was completely destroyed.
As winter approaches, the situation in besieged Ghouta is getting worse by the day. Many are suffering from malnutrition. Another 560 patients are suffering from chronic diseases with little or no medications available to help them. Many medications that are available are expired, and supply routes that were used to restock medications/ supplies into Ghouta were destroyed.
There is a shortage in vaccines, especially for tuberculosis and the measles.
There are 32 patients not receiving adequate dialysis treatment and 156 patients are not receiving cancer treatment. Preventable deaths are on the rise due to a shortage of postoperative care.
"The situation in Ghouta is horrific. Starvation is yet again being used as a weapon. We call on the international community to open access to Ghouta and immediately provide impartial humanitarian aid. UOSSM supports the UN statement today to urgently evacuate 430 patients in critical condition from Ghouta" Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, UOSSM Board Member and Ontario Surgeon
, according to the
UOSSM Syrian Hospitals Report
, there were 1004 direct and indirect attacks on Syrian medical facilities. Some were targeted up to 25 times with an average of three attacks per hospital.
Petitions were sent to state leaders worldwide: Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. The petition demands that state leaders uphold and enforce humanitarian law:
1. The effective implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2286 (2016)**, which prohibits attacks against medical facilities/ staff/ aid workers during war. That the government makes every effort possible to prevent these attacks and holds perpetrators accountable for war crimes.
2. The immediate opening of a safe, impartial, humanitarian corridor for NGOs to deliver essential aid to healthcare workers and care for neglected populations.