Press Release: Reported Chemical Attack in Ghouta and Malnutrition in Waar

News and Press Release
Originally published

Toronto, ON - Two attacks consistent with the symptoms of chlorine gas were reported by medical staff in the besieged area of Eastern Ghouta on Thursday, February 9, and Friday February 10, 2017. On February 9 at 7:30 a.m. Damascus time, four victims were transported to Arbeen Hospital with symptoms consistent with chlorine gas exposure including; difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness and foaming at the mouth. The specialty doctor on site suspected chemical gas exposure. The victims received first aid and medications prescribed for gas inhalation. One of the victims suffered severe burns and died after losing consciousness and falling on a heater. The other three patients were under medical supervision.

The next day, at 4:40 p.m. Damascus time, three more victims were brought to the emergency room with similar symptoms. The victims were treated with first aid, medication and were under supervision until their condition improved. It is estimated that there are 400,000 civilians remaining in the besieged area of Ghouta. UOSSM urges the Organization For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to launch a full investigation into this incident under it’s mandate by the UN.

In Waar, Homs, there were two cases of severe malnutrition and 14 cases of intermediate malnutrition reported by medical staff. There are approximately 70,000 people in the besieged area of Waar. Aid convoys with food, child formula and medication are desperately needed to ensure the well-being of the population.

A third civilian has died from a lack of dialysis in Madaya, where approximately 42,000 people are besieged. UOSSM calls for the urgent evacuation of patients in Madaya who are in critical condition.

“Thousands are still suffering immensely in besieged areas where there is little access to food and medical care. We urge the international community to increase humanitarian aid to these areas. The pain and suffering of the Syrian people has by no means stopped.” Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Surgeon and Chairman of UOSSM Canada.

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