World Bulletin/News Desk
International doctors working in Syrian hospitals that have moved around the country, especially in small towns, due to unexpected shelling by Assad forces, have called for the international community to donate large amounts of medical equipment needed to care for Syrians injured in the bloody war, which has no end in sight.
“Both my colleagues and I here, we know that this war will not end very soon; it will take a few months more. The people here are really very poor; there is no healthcare system. We need maintenance in terms of infrastructure, equipment and also medical supplies,” said Hassan Shaturi, an Egyptian doctor working in a small town near Aleppo at a hospital whose name officials requested remain unknown, as regime forces might later bomb it.
The hospital, which is divided into six sectors, was shelled three times, forcing staff to move to another location. Consisting of a clinic with two rooms for emergencies, two operation rooms, an intensive care center, a pharmacy, an X-ray room and a small lab, the hospital is taking care of not only the wounded people brought in from Aleppo but also locals from the city itself.
After welcoming the Turkish Hayat (Life) International Aid Convoy for Syria, which was carrying humanitarian assistance, Shaturi talked about the difficult working conditions the doctors must endure while trying to care for patients. The hospital, which has been poorly equipped, is accepting 10-15 patients from Aleppo daily, although there are other hospitals closer to the city.
“We don't have here in this city a computerized machine for tomography [CT]. We are obligated to send the wounded who are very poor at least two hours farther from here to get CT scans,” Shaturi said. He voiced their need for oxygen equipment for operations and physicians to control anesthesia, as well as a need for dermatology and urology specialists in the long run.
As for the supply of medicine, Shaturi said financial assistance mainly comes from the Arab Medical Union, most of whose supplies are provided by Turkey.
“But sometimes we get supplies from here in Syria. It is sometimes very difficult to get the supplies here because some of the companies producing drugs are controlled by the [Syrian Health] Ministry,” Shaturi said.
Lama al-Sibaie, a Syrian human rights activist originally from Homs, said she was impressed with the hard work the Egyptian doctors were offering the Syrians. “They treat it like it is their own issue. I don't feel that we are from different countries,” she said, expressing her gratitude to Egyptian doctors working at the hospital located outside of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, half of which is now under the control of the rebels and being bombed by regime forces.
Praising Egyptian doctors' voluntary services to the injured survivors who escaped the remnants of buildings demolished in bombardments carried out by Assad's forces, al-Sibaie said she believes the Syrian people will never forget their kindness. “What I admired, and was a little bit shocked by, is that they are working with minimal equipment in their hands … and that ensures that this hospital will continue doing its job, under any conditions,” al-Sibaie stated, urging the international community to send the hospital all the supplies it needs.
Commenting on the voluntary help for the people in Syria being done by himself and his peers, another Egyptian, Ahmed Hassan, a lab technician at the hospital, said it is their Muslim duty. “Each Muslim should help another, as a Muslim is a brother of another Muslim.”
On average, the hospital performs about 100-200 operations each month, many of which are cases from the war. Doctor Shaturi said he operated on 30 patients in just April, adding that 50 percent of the hospital's patients have head injuries. Depending on the intensity of the ongoing war around them, the doctors have more or less patients to care for.
If the doctors aren't able to treat the patients, after accepting their relatives' permission, they are provided with an ambulance in order to be sent to the Turkish-Syrian border, where they can be taken care of in Turkey.Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2013, 10:55