May 19, 2012Wounded people and medical workers remain targeted and threatened in parts of Syria, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) states. This may prevent people from receiving life-saving emergency medical care.
MSF medical teams of the international organisation recently visited parts of Syria. In the governorates of Homs and Idlib, the teams found patients and doctors at risk of attack and arrest. MSF first reported in early February on the abuse of health facilities and the targeting of patients and medical workers.
“Being caught with patients is like being caught with a weapon,” said an orthopedic surgeon whom MSF met in a village in Idlib governorate. “The atmosphere in most medical facilities is extremely tense; health care workers send wounded patients home and provide only first aid so that facilities can be evacuated quickly in the event of a military operation.”
Marie-Noëlle Rodrigue, MSF’s director of operations in Paris said: “The authorities and all parties to the conflict must ensure that medical workers can operate without fear of retribution and that wounded people can safely seek and receive immediate life-saving care, without resorting to inadequate improvised clinics for fear of arrest, or worse.”