In Aleppo there's one hospital left standing with just seven doctors to help the thousands of innocent civilians who are injured and need care. But, it's in danger of shutting down in just a couple of weeks leaving an area of more than 250,000 people no option for help. An Austin non-profit is hoping to prevent that from happening.
Help is on the way for the Iman Hospital from the World Health Organization, but not until April. Anna Franceschi is the Deputy Director for Circle of Health International in Austin, "It takes $40,000 a month for the hospital to operate. They're going to have to close their doors by December 31st, because there's no funding left to sustain the hospital itself," she said. That means three months of no healthcare for hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians caught in the middle of Syrian troops and rebel fighters. When asked if the hospital closes, Franceschi said "There's nothing. There are absolutely no resources, (no) medical resources available to citizens of Aleppo."
Franceschi works for the COHI, a local non-profit that is hoping to help the hospital not close their doors at the end of the year, "It's the civilians that are 100% impacted by the actions that we take and don't take," she said.
Hospitals have been a major target in the Middle Eastern war in Syria. Last month four hospitals in Aleppo were taken out by airstrikes in just one day. Originally a pediatric and OBGYN clinic, Iman is the only facility left with just a handful of nurses and seven doctors; four pediatricians and 3 OBGYNs. The staff are now responding to any type of emergencies "A lot of triage that is coming in, shrapnel, anyone affected by the bombs and the shelling that are happening. They are doing above and beyond what their original calling was," Franceschi said.
COHI and their partner Human Appeal in the UK are doing everything they can to make sure the hospitals lifeline won't be cut. "The hospital won't close because of bombings, the hospital will close because of a funding shortage." And they need your help. "Donating, and selfishly donating to Circle of Health, we have trusted known partners on the ground and this money is going directly to Human Appeal and the last standing hospital in Aleppo. "Babies are coming, they are not stopping because of the bombs, they are still being born, so to ensure they have the best start at life, even in a war zone, the to donate means that they have another chance," Franceschi said.
COHI has a goal of $40,000 to keep the hospital open through January. So far they raised about half. If you would like to help, you can click here.