Dr. Hassan Al-Araj, Head of the Health Directorate in Hama, Syria, was killed in an airstrike Wednesday April 13, during the ceasefire. Dr. Al-Araj had just left the the Al-Maghara Hospital, where he was Hospital Director, and was on his way to the Health Directorate when a surface-to-air missile struck approximately 60 feet from the hospital and less than one foot from his car killing the doctor instantly. Activists on the ground report that Dr. Al-Araj was the target of that air strike.
Click here to read the full press release.
Among all those burns you can still see her smile light up a room, despite her pain and agony, she is still smiling. This is a story of hope… a story of triumph over tragedy… this is the story of Kauthar.
It was March 15, 2015, the 15 month old baby was sleeping in her home while her mother, Ruwaidahaa, was outside hanging laundry to dry, when all of a sudden the familiar and scary sound of a warplane was overhead. Kauthar’s five brothers got scared and ran out of the house to their mom, in that same moment the warplane dropped an explosive barrel on the house, causing the roof to collapse. The explosion of the barrel caused the gas canister to explode, their home was on fire.
The desperate mother ran inside the burning home to save her child and found Kauthar’s body engulfed in flames. Completely forgetting about her own health and safety, Ruwaidahaa grabbed her child and ran outside the house and tried to put out the flames on Kauthar’s small body. Then, all of a sudden the mother collapsed and lost consciousness.
Ruwaidahaa regained consciousness after a few hours and found herself in a hospital in Gaziantep, Turkey, she found out that her baby was transported to another hospital in Adna. Kauthar sustained second and third degree burns on 70% of her small body. She did not have any surgery of any kind only changing of her bandages. The only part of Kauthar’s face that was not burnt was her mouth. This helped her to drink and eat somewhat normally.
After almost a month the mother and her child were reunited. Ruwaidahaa knew the sound of the little girl, whose body was covered in bandages, she could hear her cry and ran to her to hold her and comfort her.
Kauthar was admitted to Syrian Medical Center (Dar al Esthfaa) where she would stay for 10 days as representatives from UOSSM connected with a humanitarian organization in the US to arrange for her reconstructive surgeries and treatment.
Kauthar is currently in Galveston, TX along with her mother and will get treatment from Shriners Hospital for Children. It is estimated that her treatment will require between 4-6 months.
While young Kauthar was in Dar al Estshfaa she would point to her mouth and say it doesn’t hurt, she would say she can still eat, say some words and even smile. She doesn’t even realize that most of her body is scarred from the burns, she just smiles and lights up the room.
MATERNITY AND CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AMONG THE LATEST CASUALTIES OF STRING OF AIRSTRIKES ON TARGETED MEDICAL FACILITIES
While people all over the world were celebrating Christmas, a string of attacks on hospitals continued. The latest victim was a maternity and children’s hospital was in Azzaz in the suburbs of Aleppo and is now out of service due to damage sustained from the strike. This hospital provided deliveries for over 260 patients a month that will now have to deliver elsewhere. 10 civilians that were in the area were also killed.
This is the latest in a string of attacks on medical facilities that seem to be happening on an almost daily basis for the past month. Click here to read the full press release.Read more
Dr. Raphael Pitti is one of the many who have helped Syria’s medical community recover from the collapse of the medical infrastructure. Dr. Pitti is a physician from France that specialized in Emergency Medicine in War Zones. He has provided many training courses to medically treat and deal with injuries and circumstances in war-torn Syria. Dr. Pitti supported the UOSSM in establishing the first medical training center in Bab al Hawa Hospital. Over 7000 trainees were trained since the program began in 2013.
Protect Hospitals & Health Workers in Syria Conference.
The Protect Hospitals and Health Workers in Syria Conference was on December 11. There were two discussion panels, the first discussion was: Syrian NGOs and On the Ground Challenges. Dr. Anas al Kassm, President of UOSSM Canada made the presentation.
You can watch the whole conference here.