Fifty percent of Syria’s hospitals and medical centres have been destroyed or looted and their staff kidnapped, tortured or slaughtered, a leading Syrian surgeon told members of the Irish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Dr Bashir Mohammad, a cardiologist, was part of a delegation of high-profile Syrian medical and religious leaders who appealed for an end to punitive European Union sanctions against his country on Thursday 1st December.
Dr Mohammad was accompanied by Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham; Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II; Syria’s grand mufti, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun; and Dr Ahmad al Khaddour, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Dr Khaddour, a professor of medicine at Damascus University, explained that the group had come to Ireland “to pass the message that Syria needs help.”
“The European sanctions have affected our medical system very badly. We have a shortage of medical supplies on a daily basis. We have children dying because there is no medicine and children suffering because there is no fuel for heating.”
Picture: Members of a Syrian peace delegation who visited Ireland to appeal for medical assistance and humanitarian aid pose for a photo in Ireland on Thursday 1st December. Pictured from left to right, Dr Ahmad al Khaddour, a cardiothoracic surgeon; Syria’s grand mufti, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun; Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham; and Dr Bashir Mohammad, cardiologist. (CNS photo/Sarah Mac Donald).