Investigations | 18 Feb 2015

Field hospitals in Syria underwent many difficult stages throughout the life of the revolution and the Syrian conflict, starting with the peaceful demonstrations, where hospitals set up in civilian homes and apartments, to having their own buildings.

Hospitals are today, an essential part of the infrastructure of the areas controlled by the opposition. To avoid shelling by regime forces, The Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) began constructing field hospitals in Syrian provinces in underground locations.

Rayan al-Nasser, Hospital Liaison Officer in the ACU, advises Rozana: "With the intensification of the regime's targeting of the liberated areas, particularly hospitals, we were forced to think of a way to protect hospitals and equipment. This is where the idea of creating well-designed safe underground hospitals that can withstand bombardment, came to light."

The project is to create an integrated center that contains all the basic sections necessary to sustain its existence in the province where it is created. It is meant to be the focal point where all citizens from all over the province can come.

Al-Nasser adds that work on the project began in one of the provinces. 15 to 20 percent of the construction of the 700 square meters large building, comprising four-room, one operations center, X-ray, laboratory and ambulance ward, has been completed.

The building, according to al-Nasser, also comprises an external entrance for primary health clinics, a 20-bed capacity hospice, in addition to doctors' housing so as to provide maximum protection for cadres. The estimated cost of construction is circa 400 thousand dollars.

Dr. Ahmad Qassas, who works in a field hospital, considers the idea of establishing underground medical centers an excellent idea. During his work in one of the hospitals, the adjacent street had been bombed and completely destroyed.

He explains that the medical staff at the time left the hospital and moved to another, only to face the same fate. The staff are very much afraid of such occurring again, as the regime, when targeting a hospital, aim to totally obliterate it.

Many efforts are going into this project. These hospitals' staffs are hopeful that they will actually start to work in the safety of the underground, thus helping protect patients and the medical staff from the regime's explosive barrels and missiles.

Listen to this story in Arabic HERE

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