Video shows Gift of Givers hospital after deadly airstrike in Syria

08 July 2016 - 18:42 By Matthew Savides

Video footage shows the chaos at the Gift of the Givers hospital in Darkoush‚ Syria‚ following a rocket strike on Friday morning that left more than 22 dead.At about 11am two rockets hit a residential area less than 400m from the Ar Rhama Hospital. The hospital was built by a Gift of the Givers team in 2013 after the outbreak of the brutal civil war.Organisation founder Imtiaz Sooliman said medical teams at the hospital were on duty when the rockets struck the buildings. "We immediately sent teams across using our four ambulances; 22 people died on site‚ including women and children. Fifty were rushed to hospital. We treated some of the people‚ but others were sent to Turkey‚" said Sooliman. A video from inside the hospital‚ taken in the immediate aftermath of the airstrikes‚ shows staff treating dozens of wounded patients. Many of them had significant injuries and were bleeding profusely.WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE"Please say a dua [prayer] for us; the situation is very bad. The hospital is full. We've transferred a lot of casualties to other hospitals‚" said Dr Ahmad Ghandour‚ head of the hospital. The Gift of the Givers’ staff was unharmed and the hospital building was not damaged. This is not the first time that the area had been affected by airstrikes. In April last year‚ while Gift of the Givers teams were in Nepal to assist in earthquake relief efforts‚ the windows of the hospital were blown out following an airstrike. Before that‚ in July 2014‚ a car bomb 1km away resulted in a large number of casualties. Sooliman said similar incidents occurred "three or four" times a year‚ but that there had been none since April last year. The Ar Rhama Hospital is the organisation's flagship project in Syria. In December 2013‚ medical teams took just 70 days to turn the single-storey building in Darkoush into an emergency hospital. By the following April‚ 53 South African medical personnel treated 7 000 people in 10 days.Since then‚ the building has been upgraded and is now a three-story structure that treats about 10 000 patients a month.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day, Financial Mail or Rand Daily Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.