WHO condemns attacks on hospitals and health workers in Syria

September 22, 2017


Last week, WHO issued a statement on a series of recent attacks against health care in Syria. As the result of these attacks on health facilities and personnel in Idlib and Hama provinces on September 19th, several health workers were killed or injured. On that day, several ambulances and hospitals in Idlib province were reportedly hit by airstrikes within a few hours. All three hospitals in Kafr Nabl, Khan Sheikhoun, and Heish sub-districts are no longer in service. In northern rural Hama, near the town of Atshan, two paramedics were reportedly killed in an attack that destroyed two ambulances.

Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, wrote:

“These attacks deprive civilians caught in the crossfire of the critical trauma care and health services they need. […] Every day, health workers risk their lives to care for the sick and wounded across the country. We must continue to protect and support them as they work to save lives. WHO urges all parties to the conflict to refrain from attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, as required by international humanitarian law. Attacks on health workers and facilities are immoral and illegal, they must stop.”

Source: WHO news release, 19 September 2017