The World Medical Association (WMA) has strongly criticised the international community for being “too slow" to condemn the bombing of hospitals and health facilities in Syria and has urged the world's governments to afford protection to doctors and nurses there.
Intensified fighting across the country in recent weeks has had a serious impact on civilians and medics, as well as healthcare facilities. Médecins Sans Frontières reported hospitals and clinics supported by the organisation had seen more than 2,500 wounded and more than 520 dead between February 18 and 23 and said its doctors had "no physical capacity left to keep treating the wounded".
On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously in favour of a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. While WMA President Dr Yoshitake Yokokura welcomed the resolution, he said more efforts are needed to protect doctors and nurses. "At the moment they are being failed by the international community, despite the UN Security Council resolution condemning attacks against medical facilities and personnel in conflict situations," Dr Yokokura said. "Too often the international community is ignoring these attacks until it is too late. We can no longer stand by and watch such a human catastrophe unfold.”