Crisis in Syria: An Orthopaedic Surgeon’s Perspective

Samer Attar, MD, FACS

Since March 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a fierce civil war that has cost more than 100,000 lives and displaced millions. Caught between the opposing forces are people who have lost lives, limbs, homes, and loved ones. As refugees, they risk death, disease, starvation, and homelessness. At home, they risk bullets, shrapnel, or incineration. Some refuse to leave their homes out of principle or because they are too poor or sick to travel.

Medical personnel and basic medical resources are in short supply. Hospitals and ambulances have been targeted and destroyed. Medical personnel in particular have been subject to incarceration, torture, and even execution for treating “the other side.” This situation has resulted in an underground healthcare system with provisional hospitals and clinics in secret locations.

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