In Aleppo governorate, Syria, thousands of people have fled north toward Azaz town and the border with Turkey in recent days. Approximately 23,000 new arrivals are in urgent need of emergency shelter and support near the Bab el Salamah border crossing, in addition to tens of thousands of displaced people already in areas near the border.
As numerous hospitals near the front lines have closed due to the insecurity, MSF has increased the capacity in its hospital in Azaz district from 28 to 36 beds and is preparing to further extend the hospital capacity if necessary.
There is an urgent need for shelter, water access, sanitation, and showers, and specific non-food items such as blankets and insulating mattresses for displaced families. MSF has so far distributed 225 tents, 1,368 insulating mattresses, 584 mattresses, 800 blankets, and other items. MSF is helping with referrals to health facilities in the area.
MSF had pre-positioned drugs, medical supplies, and non-food items in Aleppo city and in Azaz district in the event of the situation deteriorating. As supply lines to East Aleppo are nearly cut, MSF is worried about an impending food, water, and fuel crisis in the coming weeks.
Three MSF-supported hospitals near the front lines in northern Syria have been hit by bombs in recent weeks. One was the MSF-supported hospital in Maskan, rural Aleppo, which was an MSF-run hospital until June 2015 when it was handed over to a Syrian medical association. MSF is currently unable to assess the damage at these facilities.
Between January and June 2015, MSF teams in Maskan saw more than 5,800 outpatients and nearly 2,500 patients in the emergency room. MSF also admitted more than 100 patients, and conducted more than 260 antenatal consultations, including 51 deliveries.
In southern Syria, airstrikes hit a hospital supported by MSF in Dara’a governorate on the night of February 5, killing three people and wounding at least six, including a nurse.
MSF renews its calls for the protection of civilian life and the respect of health facilities by all parties to the conflict. MSF reiterates that the repeated attacks on medical facilities in the ongoing conflict constitute a flagrant violation of international laws.