Doctors Without Borders to build a new hospital in Kobane

ANF – Medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started the construction of a hospital with a capacity of 13 beds in Kobanê town of West Kurdistan, Rojava, where health problems are being dealt with at two hospitals, one civilian and one military.

Officials in the town, whose population has reached 50,000 with recent returns, voiced a lack of ambulance and medicine, and put emphasis on the urgency of a humanitarian corridor to achieve a permanent solution to the health problems being faced in the town.

Treatment opportunities in Kobanê, where hospitals also were destroyed as a result of ISIS attacks, have become more difficult to be ensured now that local people who had been forced to leave their hometown during the months-long attacks by inhumane ISIS gangs are continuously turning home back after its liberation by YPG/YPJ (People’s/Women’s Defense Units). Health service in the town is currently provided at two hospitals, one of which is for the civilians and the other one for the fighters resisting ISIS.

YPG/YPJ fighters wounded in the ongoing fight in Kobanê Canton are treated in a hospital on the basement floor of a building, which has a capacity of 12 beds, while the other one providing service for civilians has only 15 beds. The number of the health staff at both hospitals is not enough either, with a total of 10 doctors and 25 nurses available in both, who are working almost night and day despite all the lacks of opportunities and possibilities.

Besides the crucial lack of medical staff which remains as one of the major problems in the city, the hospitals also lack in enough equipment to provide first response for emergency patients. The medical aid partly provided to the town so far is concerned to fall short of the needs as the population has reached 50 thousand with most recent returns. The inadequate number of ambulances also leads to problems during the transport of patients while the few ambulances currently available are being used to transfer the fighters wounded in clashes to the military hospital.
In addition to all these troubles, there are still major problems in the referral of some patients into Turkey due to inadequate technical opportunities. The problem which continues thus since the beginning of the Kobanê battle, remains despite all the contacts aiming to sort the issue out.

Doctors Without Borders, which has been the first organisation to act in order to overcome the ongoing health problems in Kobanê, has started works to provide a hospital for the town. Repairing a building damaged in the battle, which used to be a school before, the organisation is set to bring the needed medical equipment and devices once the repair works are completed.

Kobanê Health Assembly Spokesperson Dr. Hikmed Ehmed said they would work to meet the urgent medical need in the town with the hospital being formed with the support of Doctors Without Borders. Ehmed remarked that they would continue providing free health service to the people, again with the medical aid to be sent by the organisation.

Informing that the hospital will have a capacity of 13 beds and provide service with 3 doctors in the first phase, and with 7 later, Ehmed emphasised that opening a humanitarian corridor into Kobanê remained as an urgent need to come up with a lasting solution to the health service in the canton.