The MSF hospital in Atmeh, which usually specialises in caring for severe burns, has thus made numerous donations of medical and non-medical equipment and seconded its surgeons as reinforcements to several hospitals in the region. Additionally, numerous donations have been made from MSF local projects to 30 hospitals in the region.
“On 6 February, we quickly understood that we were facing a catastrophic situation," explains Mohammad Darwish, deputy director of MSF Atmeh hospital. “The destruction was massive in the area, we launched our emergency plan less than 3 hours after the first earthquake and put our staff on alert.”
Atmeh teams have started to send medical equipment to around ten hospitals in the region, to Bab al-Hawa, Darat Izza, Idlib, and even to Atarib. “All the hospitals were overwhelmed, including ours,” explains Samih Kaddour, director of the Aqrabat hospital, specializing in orthopedic and reconstructive surgery.
“The MSF teams were the first to help us and to share their resources. They gave us materials, including making casts and sterilising wounds. We received 800 people in the emergency room, 250 of whom needed surgical treatment. Even today [Saturday, 11 February], the wounded continue to flow in.” Since then, unfortunately, the time window for emergency lives saving has closed," continues Samih.