A doctor* in a makeshift clinic in the East Ghouta area near Damascus told MSF the following about the latest attacks in the area:
In the past three weeks, we’ve experienced new waves of strikes coming from the sky and the ground. These strikes have been hitting residential areas, particularly schools. There are still functioning medical centers but we are barely coping with this new wave of violence.
Medical networks have been hit as per usual—something we’ve gotten used to—but schools are now being hit, too, and that has made this period very difficult.
Our medical center is pivotal in the area. Most of our services are still functioning and available for patients. We have general or specialized surgery, an X-ray department, a lab, ambulances, and staff still coming to work, so when there are strikes, a lot of the patients come to us.
Most of the injuries we have seen lately have required complicated surgeries, which means, unfortunately, amputations. In addition to that, we have many nerve injuries; a specialized doctor is brought in for emergency cases and works on this.
Most of the injured we’ve been getting these past weeks are children. From the strikes, we’ve seen many dead, whole families wiped out. There was a recent case where an entire family, except for the father, was wiped out. Another family, the man is a medic, he survived an airstrike, but his wife and his mother-in-law are still in intensive care, and his daughter has died.
Right now, as I talk to you, I’ve been told that more dead and injured are on the way. They say one of them is a girl who died immediately.
Yesterday, after an airstrike, another child was brought in who was already dead. Three men working on an electrical post were also brought in and needed intensive surgeries, and a woman who was walking home from work was wounded and brought in.
Nowadays, on an average or slow day, we’re doing at least 5 or 6 desperately needed life-saving surgeries.
I think if this situation continues, the best solution is perhaps that we—the entire community—should move and live underground to survive.
*Anonymity requested for reasons of personal safety.