Measles Outbreak in Ghouta and 5 Hospital Attacks in 9 Days

Toronto, ON-  There has been an alarming rise in cases of the measles in Ghouta, Syria.  According to EWARN, there have been 121 cases in the past two months, compared to 50 cases in the past two years.

Several areas throughout Syria remain under heavy siege. Two doctors were killed and hospitals are constantly being targeted. On Sunday, a dentist was killed in an  airstrike in Daraa, and yesterday a paramedic was killed in Daraa as well. A hospital was impacted by an airstrike today  in Daraa. In the past week, three hospitals in the suburbs of Hama, in Kafr Zeta, have been attacked and put out of service.

On March 14, A hospital in Mseifra, in rural Eastern Daraa was hit by an airstrike  near the hospital which resulted in minor structural damages (doors and windows) and left two people wounded. The facility continued to operate.

On March 8, the Kafr Zeta Specialty Hospital, in rural Hama, was put out of service after being attacked by an airstrike resulting in the destruction of doors, windows, water and electricity systems. There were no casualties reported. The building had moderate structural damage and the facility went out of service. On a monthly basis, the hospital was providing an average of 600 consultations, 100 admissions, 70 major surgeries, 50 deliveries and 180 Trauma cases.

On March 8, the Dr. Hasan Araj Cave Hospital in rural Hama, built under 50 ft of rock, was also attacked causing structural damage. This was not the first time this hospital was attacked. The area had over 15 air raids and at least three airstrikes on both hospitals, which are within 10 miles of each other.

On March 7, a hospital in Kafr Zeita, Hama was impacted by airstrikes destroying the medical supply storage area. No casualties were reported and the building had moderate structural damage rendering it out of service.  On a monthly basis the hospital was providing an average of 1900 consultations, 450 admissions, 150 major surgeries,70 deliveries and 25 trauma cases.

On March 5, A hospital in Kafr Nobol, Idleb , was hit by an airstrike resulting in the top floor being destroyed and moderate structural damage. There were no casualties reported and the facility went out of service. On a monthly basis, the hospital was providing an average of 3,792 consultations, 41 admissions, 332 major surgeries. These services were disrupted.

There is significant pressure on hospitals that are still operating and supplies are running extremely low or completely depleted. In Ghouta, in the suburbs of Damascus, a third person died from kidney failure as there are no supplies available to provide dialysis treatment. Medications and supplies are still not allowed in the area.

“The vicious attacks on medical facilities in the past 10 days must stop and perpetrators must be held accountable.  The attack of hospitals and murder of medical staff is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law and a war crime.  It breaks my heart to see the children suffering from measles, an archaic and easily preventable disease. Opening aid supply lines, providing medical access and vaccinating all children must be a top priority to head off a potential pandemic.” Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Chairman of UOSSM Canada.

About UOSSM :

UOSSM (Union des Organisations de Secours et Soins Médicaux) provides free medical aid to the people of Syria regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. UOSSM international, founded by Syrian Doctors around the world,  started in 2012 and operates 12 major hospitals and supports 120 clinics inside Syria. UOSSM has performed over 1,000,000 medical treatments inside Syria since inception.