12 Jun 12 28 Nov 16

Syria: Treating the wounded, a forgotten priority

The United Nations and Syrian authorities have finally agreed to implement a humanitarian aid plan. This represents progress. Under the terms of the agreement reached last week, a few humanitarian organizations and agencies (actors already operating in Syria and working with Iraqi refugees) must be able to deploy aid.

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Inadequate response

However, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) believes that this agreement does not adequately provide for a response to current medical emergencies. Today it is crucial that victims of the conflict – the wounded and patients who need emergency care - receive treatment. However, the arrangement provided fails to address the need to ensure the neutrality of health care facilities.

A patient receiving surgical treatment in Syria

For the parties that have engaged in dialogue with the Syrian authorities, access to care for all victims of the conflict should be a priority. This means respecting the physical integrity of patients, medical staff and health care facilities. The violence in Syria has been going on for more than 16 months and supplying hospitals with medicine and medical material is not an adequate response to the influx of wounded.

It is essential to increase treatment capacity. The Syrian medical teams must be able to work without discrimination or threats of reprisal, and to receive support from medical teams working on an impartial basis.

MSF ready to respond

MSF reiterates its call for authorization from the Syrian authorities to work in the regions affected by violence. The organization stands ready to mobilize its medical and surgical resources quickly in order to treat the wounded.