In a recent news release, officials from the international humanitarian agency, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, said that less than 3 dozen members remain in eastern Aleppo after approximately 100 new patients arrived in the few functioning hospitals left in the area in the past 3 days.
The majority of the doctors who are a part of this organization were forced to flee Aleppo because of active war zones in the northern Syrian city. Offensives launched by Syrian and allied forces in July forced the physicians to flee north into Turkey.
However, some of the physicians are expressing their willingness to return to Aleppo and help treat the scores of victims wounded by the war if a safe passage can be established.
MSF is appealing to the Syrian government, as well as to other world leaders, to help establish a safe passage for medics to re-enter Aleppo to help the Syrian war victims.
Reports say that between Thursday and Saturday of last week, approximately 98 patients, 11 of whom were children, arrived at hospitals in eastern Aleppo. Since then, 29 of those patients were killed by airstrikes.
MSF has also expressed concern about the shortage of fuel needed to power the hospitals and ambulances. Hospital clinics used to treat these victims are at risk of losing electricity, which is essential for performing lifesaving services. MSF is currently supporting 8 hospitals in east Aleppo and 6 other facilities in northern Syria.
In a statement by Carlos Francisco, MSF Syria mission leader, “[Doctors] observe now with deep sorrow the deterioration of the crisis, unable to help a population in dire need. As far as we know, several doctors have expressed their willingness to go back as soon as possible if a humanitarian corridor is created.”
“Wounded patients are sleeping in front of hospitals during heavy bombings because the hallways of the hospitals are full,” said Ahmed Laila, the head of east Aleppo’s Directorate of Health.
“Doctors Without Borders Says It Faces Critical Shortage Of Medics, Fuel In Aleppo.” UPI. Updated October 10, 2016. Available at: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/10/10/Doctors-Without-Borders-says-it-faces-critical-shortage-of-medics-fuel-in-Aleppo/9111476144760/. Accessed October 12, 2016.
Syria: Doctors Ready to Re-Enter East Aleppo If Given Safe Passage [press release]. Amman, Jordan: Médecins Sans Frontières; October 9, 2016.