Friday, 29 April 2016

Patients and doctors killed in Syria hospital airstrike

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 Rageh Omaar: 'Whatever remained of Syria's tenuous ceasefire, that came crashing down in the city of Aleppo today, buried along with at least fourteen people under rubble, ash and smoke. Even in streets already used to five years of unrelenting bombardment, there was desperation and anguish after the attack by Syrian government planes.

 As though the city's anguish wasn't enough, Aleppo's traumatised children have now had their last medical lifeline cut. All because of the death of this man, Muhammad Waseem Moaz; born, bred and educated at medical school in Aleppo, was the last paediatric doctor for the whole of Aleppo. All other paediatricians have either fled or been killed.

 Dr. David Nott, a trauma surgeon in a major London hospital, has volunteered in Syria, working in Aleppo in 2014. He knew Dr. Moaz.

 "If you take out the only paediatrician that's going to be able to look after children, the 200,000 children that are left in Aleppo will not get any medical treatment at all. Another year from now, perhaps there won't be any doctors left there, at all."

 This is the remains of the al-Quds hospital where Dr. Moaz worked. The medical supply stores and the treatment rooms left in utter ruin. Human rights groups have already accused the Assad government of directly targetting medical facilities. The UN says this conflict now kills a Syrian civilian every 23 minutes, and wounds one every 13.

 "The last child doctor in Eastern Aleppo was killed," said Jan Egelund, chairman of the UN humanitarian taskforce in Syria, "Hospitals have been bombed. What we basically see is that while people are bleeding, the health workers are unable to do their work."

 The targetting of doctors and hospitals is a grim weapon of war in Syria. The aim - to make civilians flee whole areas, and with over two million Syrians as refugees in the region, it's a weapon that's working.'


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