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MSF Working to Secure Safe Return of Five Staff Taken in Northern Syria

A week after five international staff members were taken from a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) house in northern Syria on the evening of January 2, 2014, MSF continues to put all efforts toward securing their safe return.

Our missing colleagues are from Belgium, Denmark, Peru, Sweden, and Switzerland. They were working in an MSF-run hospital to provide essential health care to people affected by the conflict in Syria, where the humanitarian and medical needs are overwhelming.

Over the past two years, MSF has installed six field hospitals and two health centers in the north of Syria. Our medical teams have so far provided 102,828 consultations, 40,052 of which are emergency room cases. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are as much a focus for MSF as shrapnel, bomb, and bullet wounds. MSF teams have carried out 4,899 surgical procedures and have assisted pregnant women with 1,516 safe deliveries. MSF also supports more than 80 health facilities throughout Syria. In neighboring countries, MSF has provided 264,265 consultations for Syrian refugees.

MSF wishes to reiterate that at this stage discretion is extremely important, particularly concerning personal details about our five colleagues. We stress that only the elements on this page represent official MSF information related to the incident. Any other reports related to the incident are information that is not officially provided or confirmed by MSF.

While our priority is to secure the quick and safe return of our five colleagues, MSF will not be providing any further information at this time. We thank everyone for their understanding and support.

MSF is an international medical humanitarian organization working independently of any political or religious agendas. We provide medical care on the basis of the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. MSF relies on private funding and does not accept money from any government for its work in Syria.