Syria: Little hope left for Aleppo’s children
Renewed air attacks on the city’s last pediatric hospital
The Malteser International-supported children’s hospital in Aleppo was damaged by barrel bombs on the morning of November 16. Patients and most hospital operations had already been moved into the cellar of the building weeks ago in order to provide a basic level of security in the face of constant air attacks on the besieged portions of the city. Yesterday’s bombing caused major damage to the cellar, where staff and patients were trapped for hours in fear of their lives as aircraft circled above the hospital.
“Human rights and international law have been trodden underfoot in Syria for months. Our local partners have lost all hope of peace. The work of the doctors and nurses in the pediatric hospital is one of the few remaining signs of humanity and compassion in the city,” said Janine Leitmeyer, Malteser International’s Country Coordinator for Syria and Turkey, speaking from the Turkish border town of Kilis.
The hospital resumed operations the day after the bombing, however humanitarian aid has been unable to access the besieged parts of eastern Aleppo for months, and supplies at the hospital are running low. Stocks of many medications have already run out. If aid supplies are not able to enter the city soon there will be little that the few remaining medical facilities can do for the besieged population. The closure of the children’s hospital would leave around 90,000 children remaining in the city without access to pediatric care.
Malteser International has been supporting the pediatric hospital since July 2015 – paying the salaries of staff members, and financing the purchase of equipment including ventilators and incubators. Malteser International also provides medical care for around 300,000 people living near the Syrian-Turkish border at four basic health units operated by its partner organization. More than half of these are internally displaced people living in camps.
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About Malteser International:
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work. For more information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.int