The World Health Organization has issued a statement condemning the mid-November attacks on 5 hospitals in Syria. The hospitals involved include 3 in Western Rural Aleppo and 2 in Idleb. 

The WHO is demanding that all parties involved in the conflict respect the safety and neutrality of health workers, health facilities and medical supplies. In the recent attacks, it was reported that at least 2 people were killed and 19 people were wounded, including 6 medical staff. 

The WHO has documented 126 similar attacks across the country in 2016.

Two of the medical facilities targeted in Western Rural Aleppo were trauma hospitals. Together, the 3 hospitals in the area provided more than 10,000 consultations and more than 1500 major surgeries a month. 

The attacks have caused a significant reduction in the availability of health services in northern Syria, according to the WHO, and a major disruption of referrals of critically injured and ill patients.

In Idleb, the 2 hospitals targeted provided approximately 10,000 consultations a month, as well as more than 200 major surgeries and 600 deliveries. One of the facilities was a key referral hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care.

An attack on a mobile clinic in this area resulted in lack of access to essential basic health care for more than 3500 patients.

The number of health facilities being destroyed or damaged by attacks is increasing in frequency, depriving thousands of people in need of emergency care. The deliberate targeting of health care in the Syrian conflict is a major violation of international law and a tragic disregard of common humanity, says the WHO.

Reference

WHO Condemns Massive Attacks on Five Hospitals in Syria [press release]. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; November 16, 2016.

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