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Our hospital at Atmeh damaged by a car bomb

Sunday, February 23, 2014
Two hospitals have been damaged, including the Hand in Hand for Syria hospital for women and children at Atmeh.

A car bomb exploded in the Syrian town of Atmeh near the Turkish border on Sunday morning, 23 February 2014. Initial reports suggest that 50 people were injured and 14 have died in the bomb blast which happened near a field hospital owned by the manager of Orient Television. This hospital suffered significant damage and loss of life and has had to close.

A second hospital in the area that provides specialist care for women and children was also hit by the blast. The facility, run by the British charity Hand in Hand for Syria, suffered damage to its pharmacy, children’s wards and neonatal unit. Some of the patients in the hospital at the time were hurt but the hospital remains open and all children injured in the bomb blast have been brought in for treatment.

Fadi Aldairi, Operations Director for the charity said: “We awoke to the appalling news this morning that one of our hospitals in Syria had been hit in a car bomb attack. We were lucky that there weren’t any fatalities but the damage to the hospital will cost thousands of pounds to repair and will mean that some of the units will have to be temporarily suspended. This is a terrible blow for Syrian women and children because our facility is the only one offering specialist care in Atmeh and it was already significantly over-subscribed. Now it will be even harder to meet the demand in the area”.

Atmeh is home to Syria’s largest internal refugee camp with an estimated 30,000 people living there. Hand in Hand for Syria has opened six hospitals in Syria including the women and children’s facility in Atmeh; the charity also provides medication and medical supplies to more than 100 other medical facilities across Syria.

Since the conflict in Syria started, around half of the country’s hospitals have been either damaged or destroyed, with ambulances, medical staff and facilities being deliberately and systematically targeted. Field hospitals now routinely provide all medical care across large parts of Syria.

For more information and to arrange an interview please contact media@handinhandforsyria.org.