July 21, 2016- Toronto - Media in besieged Aleppo, Syria released a disturbing image of a paramedic holding an unborn fetus killed by barrel bomb shrapnel. The bomb was dropped in a civilian area and the mother and father were killed along with other civilians.
Since the start of the siege, government forces have closed off roads preventing humanitarian convoys with food and medical supplies from reaching the affected population. On Thursday July 14, the M2 hospital in Aleppo which handled 25% of Aleppo's medical needs was bombed and shut down due to damages. On July 19 an ambulance near another major hospital was hit by air strikes.
"Doctors in Aleppo are overwhelmed and depressed. They are trapped in the hospitals and work 18 hour days. With the closing of M2 the medical system is near its breaking point "- Said Dr. Aziz, UOSSM General Surgeon in Aleppo.
The city of Aleppo, home to over 300,000 citizens, (2,000,000 citizens before the conflict), is reeling from attacks on civilians through barrel bombs and cluster bombs. Untargeted attacks are creating massive civilian casualties with little military benefit.
"The vast majority of the casualties in Aleppo are civilian. What kind of military strategy measures its success by how many civilians are maimed and killed? I implore the Canadian Government to make it a priority to restore UN humanitarian convoys into Aleppo and pressure all parties to respect the rights of families to live by taking their battles away from civilian areas. Specifically airstrikes in civilian areas which breach UN resolutions. The people of Aleppo need aid now. " – Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Simcoe Surgeon and Chairman of UOSSM Canada.
UOSSM- Canada provides free medical aid to the people of Syria regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. UOSSM-Canada has sent millions of dollars worth of medical supplies to this and many other medical facilities in Syria over the past two years. UOSSM international, started in 2012 and operates 12 major hospitals and supports 120 clinics inside Syria. Since inception UOSSM had performed over 1,000,000 medical treatments.
Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Head of UOSSM Canada/ Simcoe Surgeon is available for interviews, please contact:
Alaa Akbik, Communications Coordinator
"Almost 3 out of 4 public hospitals in Aleppo are either shut down or operating at a reduced capacity. Even if they were operating, the dangerous environment is making it difficult to bring in medicines and supplies" - UN OCHA Syria
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