Last eastern Aleppo hospitals close after aerial attacks

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Devastation in Aleppo after more than five years of war. Photo: Tom Westcott/IRIN

The last hospitals in eastern Aleppo have closed after fresh attacks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.

The situation in the city's east has deteriorated since July this year, when humanitarian workers last had access to the war-ravaged population, estimated at more than 250,000 people.

UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, meanwhile, said he was outraged at reports that hospitals had been hit after meeting government representatives in Damascus.

Daniel Johnson has more.

With all hospitals now closed in eastern Aleppo amid fresh attacks, the quarter of a million people who are still there must now rely on small health clinics instead.

How many of these neighbourhood centres there are is not clear, but they are unlikely to provide what's needed: namely access to trauma care and major surgery facilities – not to mention help with chronic health conditions which require medication.

In a statement, the World Health Organization said that the men, women and children living in eastern Aleppo now face further suffering amid what it calls the "relentless damage and destruction" to medical facilities in the more than five-year conflict.

UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura said he shared the international outrage at reports that several hospitals had been "heavily bombed" from the air.

The Special Envoy was speaking after meeting with Syrian officials in Damascus on Sunday.

After highlighting that children are still being killed by shelling in government-held western Aleppo, Mr de Mistura said that there was still no agreement from the Syrian government to the UN's humanitarian access plan for the east of the city.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’07″

 

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