November 26, 2015
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Physicians for Human Rights has documented the deaths of almost 700 medical personnel and over 300 attacks on medical facilities. In a new case study published by the organization, the city of Aleppo was singled out to illustrate what a dedicated and resilient medical community can achieve in some of the worst circumstances.
In Aleppo, unlawful attacks on health care have significantly degraded the city’s health care system: more than two-thirds of the hospitals no longer function and roughly 95 percent of doctors have fled, been detained, or killed. The remaining medical personnel in Aleppo have persevered and manage to provide health care “in the midst of a horrific war, despite minimal access to equipment and medication.” The report includes the shocking eyewitness accounts of doctors attempting to provide medical care while under the constant threat of bombings.
Health workers in Aleppo live with the reality of disappeared colleagues and hospital attacks every day. “Yet they have not given up hope, and they continue to ask for one simple thing: an end to the attacks on hospitals, medical personnel, patients, and civilians.” In this report, Physicians for Human Rights has gathered documentation of human rights violations from health care professionals that lays the groundwork for war crimes convictions against the Syrian government.
Access Aleppo Abandoned. A Case Study on Health Care in Syria. Elise Baker & Michele Heisler, PHR, November 2015