Syria

Under the Gun: Practicing Medicine in Syria

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
It hurts me that my country needs doctors and I left. I was completing my medical residency at a public hospital when anti-government protests first broke out in Syria. By the end of 2011, government security forces were bringing detained members of the opposition to my hospital for treatment. Members of the security forces would insult and physically attack the medical staff, while also causing chaos by shooting their weapons into the air.

Syria field post: 'I had to do procedures I'd never seen. YouTube helped a lot'

Monday, March 16, 2015
A Syrian doctor and hospital director working in Damascus talks about his daily life as the conflict enters its fifth year. "I live in a small room in the hospital. It’s about three metres square, and has a small bathroom and sink. I live there with my wife. We are at the hospital 24/7. My wife teaches in the attached school, and I work in the hospital 24 hours a day. Sometimes I rest or sleep, but if someone needs surgery, I go and work."

Chicago Doctors Risk Arrest, Torture to Aid Dire Medical Care Void in Syria

Thursday, March 12, 2015
A humanitarian report to be released Thursday addresses the dire medical situation in Syria and reports how doctors from all over the world—including here in Chicago—are being arrested and tortured simply for trying to save lives. “This is my fifth visit into Aleppo which is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world, especially for healthcare workers,” said Chicago-area critical care specialist Dr. Zaher Sahloul.

Doctors in the Crosshairs: Four Years of Attacks on Health Care in Syria

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Four years after the start of the civil war in Syria, deliberate and indiscriminate attacks have decimated the ranks of health professionals and devastated the medical infrastructure, exacerbating an acute humanitarian crisis, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said in a report released today. The PHR report and interactive map tracking these violations document the unlawful killing of 610 medical personnel and 233 illegal attacks on 183 medical facilities throughout the country over the past four years.

New Report: "Syrian Medical Voices from the Ground"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
“Working in a field hospital is like death,” said a Syrian general practitioner from Idlib, describing medical practice while under assault from barrel bombs and other attacks. Another doctor from Aleppo recounted, “I cannot forget the sight of amputated limbs, severed heads, and horrible cranial injuries.” These experiences are universal among Syrian health workers, as shown in the new report Syrian Medical Voices from the Ground: The Ordeal of Syria's Healthcare Professionals.

Brave Women on the Front Lines of Health Care Deserve Protection

Friday, March 6, 2015
“Let me treat my patients,” pleads a Syrian doctor whose hospital has been repeatedly targeted. Around the world, attacks on health workers and facilities have reached new heights, and this violence affects women disproportionately. More than 75% of the health workforce in many countries is female, and many women are left without access to much-needed health services.

Syrian Doctors: Dr. Nour

Thursday, January 29, 2015
Dr. Nour, a general practitioner, works at a field hospital in Syria near the Turkish-Syrian border. She and the hospital are at constant risk of attack from aerial bombardment and car bombs. Sadly, she has first-hand experience with both. There have been five separate attacks on the field hospital, despite the many military targets in the area. In addition to dangers posed by the regime, Dr. Nour explains that she and her colleagues also worry about the self-declared Islamic State, which has threatened and kidnapped doctors.

Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition Urges the World Health Organization to Reinforce Its Commitment to Protect Health Workers from Violence

Friday, January 30, 2015
In January, IntraHealth International submitted a statement on behalf of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition to the World Health Organization’s Executive Board Meeting in Geneva. Submitted as part of agenda item 8.2, poliomyelitis, the full text of the statement is below and also published by the WHO along with other statements by NGOs that are in official relations with the WHO. IntraHealth is a steering committee member of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.

Syria: Latest Report to Security Council Highlights Continued Atrocities and Breaches of International Humanitarian Law

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
As the brutal crisis in Syria enters into its fifth year, calls for the protection of civilians and improved humanitarian access continue to be ignored by all parties. In a briefing to the Security Council, delivered on behalf of Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos, UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief Kyung-wha Kang highlighted a litany of failings by all sides and renewed the humanitarian community’s call for a political end to the conflict. Ms. Kang also spoke of attacks against medical facilities and staff. “Hospitals and schools have not been spared,” she said. According to one medical organization, there were eight attacks on medical facilities in December alone. During the same period, seven medical personnel were killed, including three who were tortured to death and one who was executed.

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