Hospitals go underground in Syria to avoid Russian warplanes

Some rooms in Syrian hospitals go underground to dodge Russian and regime warplanes

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People carry medical supplies found under the rubble of a destroyed Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) supported hospital hit by missiles in Marat Numan, Idlib province, Syria on February 16, 2016.

Some rooms at Rakaya Hospital in Syria have been dug six meters deep to avoid Russian and regime air strikes, with the purpose of keeping patients and doctors alive in the country so used to death.

Pharmacist Amer al Salloumm said that as digging underground rooms may help protect medical staff who are often targeted by Russian and regime warplanes, it is not ideal for storing medicine due to humidity.

Fuel for electric generators to power the underground rooms is scarce and most often insufficient.

However, Salloumm said that “suffering underground, however, is much better than facing death or amputation.”

The field hospital is located near the city of Idlib and has been treating Syria’s wounded people since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.

About 50,000 people have been treated for various war-related injuries onsite without pay although it is severely underequipped and understaffed due to financial constraints.

Field hospital manager Dr. Abdo Kandah said that the hospital has been receiving a very high volume of people severely injured from air strikes.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that Russian warplanes have attacked 163 facilities in Syria since September 2015, including hospitals, schools and mosques.


TRTWorld and agencies