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59 Syrians denied medical evacuation into Jordan over past three months — MSF

By JT - Sep 29,2016 - Last updated at Sep 29,2016

AMMAN — At least 59 war-wounded Syrians, including 11 children between the ages of 3 and 14, “have been denied medical evacuation into Jordan” over the past three months, international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the MSF said six of these 59 Syrians have subsequently died. They “all required urgent medical evacuation” from Daraa in southern Syria to MSF’s emergency surgical project in Ramtha hospital in Jordan, “located less than 5km from the border”.

“With intense fighting continuing, MSF believes that the actual number of people in need of immediate medical evacuation is much higher,” the statement said.

Jordan declared the northern and northeastern border areas an off-limit military zone in June, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack that targeted a military post serving refugees near the border, killing seven troops and injuring 13 others. 

“The prolonged conflict in Syria has decimated the country’s healthcare system and forced many medical professionals to flee. Those hospitals in southern Syria that are still open have very limited capacity to respond to highly complex injuries, leaving wounded Syrians with no option but to seek medical care in the nearest safe destination — Jordan,” MSF said. 

Prior to the closure of the Jordanian-Syrian border on June 21, war-wounded Syrians were being regularly evacuated from southern Syria into the Jordanian border town of Ramtha, 90km north of Amman. 

MSF’s medical teams saw an average of 50-80 wounded per month in the emergency room of Ramtha hospital. Sixty per cent of MSF’s patients in Ramtha chose to return to Syria after being discharged, the organisation said in the statement.

MSF’s medical team in Ramtha continues to care for patients admitted before the border was sealed. Working with the Ministry of Health in Ramtha since September 2013, MSF has received 2,427 wounded in the emergency room and carried out more than 4,500 surgical interventions, including more than 800 major surgeries, according to the statement. 

 

MSF said it is “deeply concerned about the continued denial of access to war-wounded and other gravely ill Syrians to Jordan for three consecutive months”, urging the government to resume medical evacuations for those in need.

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