Read about first-hand accounts from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aid workers and patients.

Country/Region

March 15, 2018

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) nurse and general director Meinie Nicolai recently spoke with the Syrian director of an MSF-supported hospital in besieged eastern Ghouta, where casualties are soaring and stocks of essential medical supplies are dwindling. Here, she recounts the conversation.

Most people in eastern Ghouta live underground. Medical care is increasingly provided in basements. What is happening there cannot bear the light of day.

February 26, 2018

On the night of Sunday, February 25, a female doctor who manages a field hospital in besieged eastern Ghouta that has received medical supplies, financial support, and technical medical advice and training from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 2013 recorded her thoughts about the current situation she and her colleagues are facing. Both her name and the location of the medical facility have been withheld to protect her safety.

November 15, 2017

After a four-and-a-half–month offensive, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and an international coalition finally recaptured the city of Raqqa from the so-called Islamic State (IS). The widespread devastation in Raqqa attests to the intensity of the fighting and air strikes—and raises questions about the fate of the city’s residents, civilians who, from the start of the offensive, were trapped with no access to humanitarian aid. Here, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) head of emergency operations Natalie Roberts reflects on the situation.

April 11, 2017

Omar Obeid is the project coordinator for a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) project in southern Syria, which he has managed remotely for the last fourteen months. In recent weeks, fighting has intensified throughout southern Syria as opposing forces contest control of the city of Dara’a. As bombings and aerial attacks in eastern Dara’a increase, hospitals and medical structures in the area have been forced to close to avoid being targeted. Here, Obeid describes the humanitarian situation.

March 07, 2017

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) nurse practitioner Sara Ferrer currently serves as coordinator of MSF's medical projects in areas of northern Syria's Aleppo Governorate. Here she discusses the importance of vaccination campaigns for children in the war-ravaged country.

December 08, 2016

Dr. Abu Wassim was working inside the East Aleppo hospital that was hit by airstrikes on November 17, 2016. Here, in an interview recorded a week later, he tells the story of that day:

“We started hearing shells raining down on the buildings at the end of the street, about 500 meters away from the hospital. We heard 40 or more shells exploding, with the noise moving closer and closer towards the hospital. That’s when all the staff—technicians, nurses and doctors—evacuated all the patients down to the basement.

December 06, 2016

Al-Marj clinic is an MSF-supported medical site in East Ghouta, an area of besieged towns near Damascus. After suffering a series of tragedies, Dr. Abu Yasser*, a general practitioner and director of the medical department of the clinic, describes the newest challenge: no more ambulances.

Yesterday, Dec. 5, a strike hit near our clinic and destroyed our two ambulances and two other hospital cars. This is terrible because now we are worried about what we’ll do if injured people come in and we can’t refer them elsewhere.

December 02, 2016

On his way to meet friends for coffee not long ago, Abu Ahmed*, a 27-year-old computer repairman living in eastern Aleppo, was injured by a cluster bomb. Four weeks later, his bone fracture has failed to heal. His only hope is specialist orthopedic surgery in Turkey, but Abu Ahmed cannot leave his besieged hometown. Bedridden, he now watches in despair as his neighborhood is further reduced to rubble after the latest waves of unrelenting airstrikes.

On November 24 and 28, 2016, he recounted his experience.

November 29, 2016

War-torn Aleppo is no place to raise children, but Umm Leen has seven kids, and they’ve never left the besieged city. Here, Leen tells her story about delivering a child into a city under constant target.

November 29, 2016

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.

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