Letter Editorial from Dr. Ghanem Tayara – President of UOSSM

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To Whom it May Concern,
I would like to bring to your attention the devastating situation currently unfolding in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. Though equal to the population and destruction of Aleppo before it’s fall, the situation has received very little media attention. I understand very few have the access to see this, but has the world given up on Syria?
In the past 10 days, we have witnessed the most intense attacks Eastern Ghouta has ever seen. Heavy and continuous shelling, missiles, cluster bombs, napalm, chlorine gas and even prohibited incendiary weapons are being used in civilian areas. The use of toxic gases, such as chlorine, contravenes all accepted rules of war and is an abomination.
As a father, it breaks my heart that 5 days ago a six-month-old infant died from congenital heart disease because doctors were not able to treat him or transport him to the care he needed 10 km away. The suffering of parents in Ghouta is unimaginable. Three infants died these past few weeks and thousands more are malnourished.
To make matters worse, there has been a wave of attacks on medical facilities. 3 medical facilities were attacked in the past 10 days and 6 this month. Four ‘White Helmets’ rescue staff were killed on November 17th during a rescue. There have been over 600 people injured and 108 killed in the past 10 days. Many of the medical facilities in Eastern Ghouta have been shut down and those remaining are overloaded with the influx of patients; the most they have seen in five years. The medical staff I have spoken to are physically and emotionally at their limits but have no other options. Even the most basic medicines/ medical supplies are in shortage with all aid supply lines cut off.
PEOPLE ARE STARVING! Can you imagine, the last shipment of food from the United Nations entered Eastern Ghouta at the end of last month. These supplies were barely sufficient to cover 10% of the population. Malnutrition and starvation are reaching epidemic levels.
The suffering of civilians in Eastern Ghouta is not a necessity of war, nor was it the only option. Despite the untold horrors, there are between 600-1,000 new births every month in Eastern Ghouta. The people of Ghouta still have hope for a brighter future and they deserve one.
What Can You Do:
1) Join the global advocacy campaign on social media #BreakGhoutaSeige & #SaveEastGhouta .
2) Call, write and meet your local/ national political leaders. Urge them to take actions to end the siege and open safe aid corridors into Eastern Ghouta for: medical aid, food supplies and the immediate medical evacuation of 240 patients in critical condition.
3) Organize events and hold vigils on behalf of the people of Eastern Ghouta.
4) Write ‘opinion editorials’ to submit to your local media.
5) Donate to our ‘Giving Tuesday’ fundraiser to support medical aid inside Ghouta and across Syria. Donations made on November 28 will be doubled if made via the “Facebook Donate Button”- Please visit: https://www.facebook.com/UOSSM.US/
I thank you for your time and would be pleased to discuss this with you further.
Sincerely,
Dr. Ghanem Tayara