Toronto, Canada- The last remaining hospital in the northern region of Hama and southern suburbs of Idlib was attacked twice and put out of service on April 22. The cave hospital was hit at 2:30 p.m. and again at 5:15 p.m Damascus time by a bunker buster missile. Five people were killed, including a girl who had just had surgery in the morning, her parents and two other patients. Two nurses were wounded, one with a severe spinal injury.
The hospital, which was built in a cave 22 feet underground in response to previous targeting by military aircrafts, was catastrophically damaged. The airstrike destroyed two operating theatres, a laboratory, two inpatient rooms, emergency room, x-ray machines and C-arm.
These attacks have left the people in the southern Idlib/ northern Hama suburbs without any access to healthcare as all six area hospitals have been attacked and put out of service. These area hospitals combined, provided services to over 20,000 people, over 1000 major surgeries, and over 120 caesarean section surgeries per month.
The Hama Health Directorate said in a statement, “We fear area doctors and medical staff will flee the area due to the constant attack of hospitals and medical facilities which could ultimately lead to the complete collapse of the healthcare system in the area”
“That a child can be murdered right after having surgery is beyond sickening. Children and the most vulnerable populations are bearing the brunt of this horrific war. We must do more to protect them. Attacking hospitals is a war crime and we call on the United Nations to take immediate action to protect medical facilities and hold perpetrators accountable for these deliberate attacks.” Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Chairman of UOSSM Canada