New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News > World >

Doctors struggle to save Syrian hospital

Madeleine Davies

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:18

hand in hand for syria

Click to enlarge

Life-saving: a baby is fed in the neo-natal unit at Atareb hospital

Credit: hand in hand for syria

Life-saving: a baby is fed in the neo-natal unit at Atareb hospital

DOCTORS in Britain who are running a hospital in rebel-held Syria are appealing for urgent funds to prevent its closure at the end of this month.

Atareb Hospital was set up by Hand in Hand for Syria, a charity founded soon after the beginning of the conflict in 2011 by Syrians living in Britain. It is 30km from Aleppo in northern Syria - rebel-held territory which is under heavy bombardment from the government - and serves a population of 500,000.

To date, it has been funded by a European donor through a charity. The partnership with the charity has come to an end, however, and until a new partner can be found, Hand in Hand for Syria is in need of donations to keep the hospital open.

Doctors warn that the closure of Atareb would have a severe impact on the region. It operates one of the few kidney dialysis units left in northern Syria, and is one of the few centres still offering primary care.

Having started in May last year as an A&E unit, it now has 98 members of staff, mainly Syrian, and is home to specialist departments, including orthopaedics, gynaecology, and neurology. About 280 life-saving operations are carried out each month, and 32,000 injured people a year access emergency care.

"There will be real problems if Atareb closes, because although a few hospitals around the area provide surgery and treament for the wounded, there is very little access to other treatments," said Talaat Atassi, a consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust in Manchester, on Tuesday. Mr Atassi was born in Syria, but has lived in Britain since 1998. Part of Hand in Hand's executive team, he helped to set up the hospital in Atareb, training staff and treating patients, and still visits regularly.

"Half of the Syrian hospitals which existed pre-conflict are damaged or closed, and primary care access has become very poor," he said. "Atareb is one of the few hospitals still offering this."

The latest data from the Syrian government reports that 64 per cent of public hospitals and 38 per cent of public health-care centres are either damaged or out of service.

www.handinhandforsyria.org.uk/

Job of the week

Inter Religious Affairs Programme Officer

London and Home Counties

Inter Religious Affairs Programme Officer Location: Lambeth Palace, London Salary: Starting salary of £27,911 rising to £30,326 upon successful completion of probation period. Contract Type: Full...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Keeping the faith under fire

Keeping the faith under fire

Large numbers of clergy volunteered to be military chaplains during the Great War. Peter Street tells some of their stories  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Is there enough reason now to impose tougher sanctions on Russia?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Can Catholics back women bishops?

Christopher Hill asks whether Catholics can back women bishops  Subscribe to read more

Mon 28 Jul 14 @ 7:39
RT @TempleChurchLDNChoral Evensong on Monday 28 July, 5.45pm. To mark the Centenary of Austria-Hungary's Declaration of War with Serbia: 28 July 1914.

Sat 26 Jul 14 @ 11:18
The FT explores @HTBChurch's church-planting in London. http://t.co/kxPlfMhjgM