A&E in the War Zone. A Response from Syria Relief

Below is a statement by Syria Relief, issued to the press on the evening of the 10/12/14.

At 11pm on Wednesday 10 December, Channel 4 will transmit the documentary ‘A&E in the War Zone’, revealing the shocking humanitarian cost of the conflict in Syria through the eyes of the hospital medics who remain there. Dr David Knott, a British trauma surgeon accompanied there by charity Syria Relief earlier this year, shares first hand experiences of dealing with casualties in a volatile war zone.

A statement follows on behalf of Syria Relief.

“The hour-long film shows the shocking reality of the lives of Syria’s civilians. Continuous barrel bombing and gunfire are everyday occurrences and are causing the few remaining hospitals to become hugely overcrowded and undersupplied. Syrian cities are now operating underground, including hospitals, with the supply chain for drugs, dressings and expertise constantly under threat.

“If it wasn’t for charities such as Syria Relief there would be virtually no hospitals operating in Syria, which is an unfortunate reflection of the lack of a response to this conflict from Western powers. It is not our job to help only the severely injured, but to consider those with diabetes, with sensory impairments, malnutrition and dehydration. Yet, we are routinely tasked with navigating bombed highways and sniper-traps to ensure vital hospital supplies reach their destination to treat urgent, life-threatening injuries.

“The facts are shocking. In 2013, estimates suggested that 36 doctors remained in Aleppo from the original 2,000 and a recent report from the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations states that 11 of Aleppo’s main hospitals had suffered direct hits from airstrikes in acts of blatant war criminality. Al-Shefaa Hospital was hit ten times alone, reducing it to rubble. The victims of this war, and the West’s ignorance to it, are the civilians with shattered limbs and open wounds who are in growing danger of having nowhere to go. We can’t let them die in the street.

“We applaud the bravery of Dr David Nott, and others like him, for volunteering in Syria, saving the lives of hundreds of people and teaching his skills to the brave Syrian doctors and surgeons that have decided to remain.” Syria Relief Trustee Dr. Ayman Jundi.