As Al Quds hospital loses talent, its lifeblood ebbs
Doctors Without Borders has released a review of the attack on Al Quds Hospital in Aleppo on April 27. This happened amid the Syrian government-led coalition’s offensive on east Aleppo when the hospital was attacked and severely damaged by two airstrikes
A building across from the hospital, identified as Ain Jalout School, was hit by an airstrike at exactly 9.37pm, according to interviews with staff pre- sent during the attack.
Following the first strike, Al Quds medical staff retrieved the wounded to transfer them to the hospital for medical care. Soon after, the Al Quds staff residence, located a few buildings from the hospital, was hit by a second strike.
Witnesses said that minutes later, a third strike assaulted the entrance of the hospital’s emergency room. This strike killed and injured Al Quds medical staff ushering patients into the emergency room, including those wounded from the first strike.
According to medical staff, five minutes later a fourth strike hit the hospital, strongly impacting the emergency room and destroying the two top floors.
This second strike to the hospital cut the electricity. A doctor present in the emergency room stated that more patients were in the hospital than usual because of the number of casualties from the preceding strikes, as well as the reported five bombardments in east Aleppo earlier that day, which resulted in scores of wounded.
Quantifying the attack’s exact number of victims was hindered by the difficulty of recovering bodies from deep under the rubble caused by the attack. According to Al Quds management, the total death toll was 55. The dead included six Al Quds staff, namely a paediatrician, a dentist, two nurses, a technician and a guard. Eight of the hospital staff were also seriously injured.
The paediatrician and dentist killed were said to be among the last medical specialists left in east Aleppo after five years of war.
Approximately 80 people were injured.
Al Quds reopened 20 days after the attack, but not all services were activated and capacities were greatly limited.