Toronto, ON- Doctors from around the world, organized by the aid agency UOSSM (Union Of Medical Care And Relief Organizations), under the campaign #DoctorsInDanger, have united in protest against the targeting of medical facilities and staff in Syria. The petition already has 150,000 signatures and is growing by the day. The medical situation in Syria has hit a new low with over 732 aid workers killed. In September alone, 18 medical facilities were attacked with six attacked within one week in the Idlib province. On September 26, a hospital in Kafrn Nabl was hit by three airstrikes causing massive damage and putting it out of service. The hospital provided care to a catchment area of 600,000 people, serving 4,000 patients a month and performing 400 surgical operations a month.
In 2016, according to the UOSSM Syrian Hospitals Report, there were 1004 direct and indirect attacks on Syrian medical facilities. Some were targeted up to 25 times with an average of three attacks per hospital.
Petitions were sent to state leaders worldwide: Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. The petition demands that state leaders uphold and enforce humanitarian law:
- The effective implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2286 (2016)**, which prohibits attacks against medical facilities/ staff/ aid workers during war. That the government makes every effort possible to prevent these attacks and holds perpetrators accountable for war crimes.
- The immediate opening of a safe, impartial, humanitarian corridor for NGOs to deliver essential aid to healthcare workers and care for neglected populations.
UOSSM is optimistic that the campaign can reach it’s target of 300,000 signatures in the next month, and show world leaders that the public will not tolerate these war crimes, or allow their governments to turn a blind eye to them. UOSSM welcomes all aid agencies, medical institutions, the media and the public to campaign on behalf of those without a voice.
“I have been on countless surgical missions inside Syria to support 80 hospitals in the war torn country. Doctors who I have been working with are facing bombing and death every day. I have lost too many friends and colleagues. It must stop now!” Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Ontario Surgeon and Board Member of UOSSM Canada. He added “The problem is already spreading to other war zones, we can see it in Yemen. When the international community allows this to happen in Syria, it signals the rest of the world that bombing hospitals and killing medical staff is ok.”
Canada: Justin Trudeau Take Action To Stop The Targeting Of Hospitals And Medical Staff In Syria
The campaign would not be possible without the tremendous support of:
- Idlib Health Directorate
- Daraa Health Directorate
- Aleppo Health Directorate
- Hama Health Directorate
- Harmoon Centre for Contemporary Studies
- Geroun Media Network
- Lawyers and Doctors For Human Rights
- Syrian Network For Human Rights
- Violation Documentation Centre In Syria
- ASML Syria
- CODSSY Syria
- Syrian Center For Media and Freedom Of Expression
- Mairie Des Paris
- Amnesty International
- Medecins Du Monde
**Resolution 2286 (2016): http://www.un.org/fr/documents/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2286(2016)&TYPE=&referer=/fr/&Lang=E
UOSSM (Union des Organisations de Secours et Soins Médicaux) provides free medical aid to the people of Syria regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. UOSSM international, founded by Syrian Doctors around the world, started in 2012 and operates 12 major hospitals and supports 120 clinics inside Syria. UOSSM has performed over 1,000,000 medical treatments inside Syria since inception.