Jordan: MSF calls for medical evacuation of Syrian war-wounded into northern Jordan and inaugurates new surgical department in Ramtha
Amman, Jordan – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called for the medical evacuation of war-wounded Syrians through the sealed northern border of Jordan. This call coincides with the opening of a new surgical department within MSF’s emergency trauma surgery project in Ramtha government hospital, 5 km from the border with Syria, to treat the large numbers of wounded.
However, since the closure of Jordan’s northern border with Syria on 21 June 2016 following a suicide attack which killed seven Jordanian soldiers at the northeastern borders, MSF has not seen any war-wounded Syrians in the emergency room of Ramtha hospital.
“The closure of the borders means that the most vulnerable victims of the conflict – those badly injured by the war – no longer have the chance to survive,” says Luis Eguiluz, MSF’s head of mission in Jordan. “Until they have renewed access to Jordan, they will be unable to receive the lifesaving medical care they desperately need.”As a result of the increasing numbers of Syrians arriving in Ramtha with extreme trauma injuries from the intensifying fighting in southern Syria, MSF decided to open the new department to upgrade the level and quality of lifesaving surgical and rehabilitative post-operative care provided in the facility. Since the opening of the Ramtha project in September 2013, and in close collaboration with the Jordanian Health Ministry, MSF has treated 1,062 Syrian patients – 23 percent of whom were women and 36 percent were children – and conducted more than 800 major surgeries.
The closure of Jordan’s northern border and the denial of access to Syrians wounded in the conflict raise serious protection concerns, particularly as the Syrian health system has been decimated over the past five years of indiscriminate war. “We call on the authorities to continue their solidarity with the war-wounded – solidarity that has saved the lives of many Syrian children, women and men,” says Eguiluz.