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One year after earthquake, mental scars are still raw in Syria

Omar Al-Omar, MSF mental health supervisor in Idlib, remembers the first hours after the earthquake. “At the break of dawn, I went down to Salqin, a town in Idlib province. I saw entire buildings collapsed and turned into rubble,” he says.

“What hurt me the most was hearing the voices of people under the rubble asking for help, while I was unable to provide assistance. Then I went to Salqin hospital, which is co-managed by MSF. 

“When I entered, I was shocked by the sight of the wounded and corpses in the rooms and corridors of the hospital. I was no longer able to stand – I sat on the ground and burst into tears,” says Al-Omar. 

“In the hospital, we could feel the aftershocks, and every moment large numbers of wounded and injured people entered the hospital. It was a night that will remain engraved in my memory until the last day of my life.” 

Even before last February, the healthcare system in northwest Syria was struggling, with underfunded medical facilities and limited services. The earthquakes damaged 55 health facilities, leaving them unable to function fully.

Fonte original msf.org

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