November 21, 2016

November 19, 2016   Several medical facilities, including a children’s hospital and the largest general hospital in the area, have been hit or destroyed since airstrikes on besieged East Aleppo resumed on November 15, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Saturday.

“The severity of the bombing has inflicted huge damage on the few hospitals working around the clock to provide medical care,” said Teresa Sancristoval, MSF emergency coordinator. The attacks have destroyed entire hospitals, electric generators, emergency rooms and wards, forcing them to stop all medical activities.

"It is not only MSF that condemns indiscriminate attacks on civilians or civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, but also humanitarian law," she added.

"The message is simple and I don´t know how to say it any louder: stop bombing hospitals.”

The only specialized pediatric hospital in besieged east Aleppo has come under attack twice since November 15, destroying three floors and leaving it out of service. Three other hospitals have also taken direct hits in that short time, resulting in casualties amongst staff and patients, and leaving two key surgical hospitals and the largest general hospital out of service.

“The children´s hospital has sustained damage for a second time from airstrikes," said Luis Montial, MSF deputy head of mission for Syria. “This is the only hospital exclusively for children in the besieged area and it is now out of service.

"The consequences of indiscriminate bombing are very clear: more lives lost, medical services depleted and insurmountable suffering for people trapped by the siege," he continued. "What is not clear is how much longer the health system, already on its knees, can carry on functioning unless the bombing stops and medical supplies are allowed in.”

East Aleppo’s hospitals have been hit by bombs in more than 30 separate attacks since the siege started in July. All of east Aleppo’s hospitals are supported by MSF, amongst other organizations.

MSF has been supporting eight hospitals in east Aleppo with medical supplies since 2014. MSF also runs six medical facilities across northern Syria and supports more than 150 hospitals and health centers across the country, many of them in besieged areas. Despite its best efforts, there are many areas – including west Aleppo – where MSF is currently unable to work, but it continues to try to provide humanitarian and medical aid in these areas.

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