MSF: Jordan closure blocked 70 Syrians from life-saving care

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2016 1:33 PM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Seventy severely wounded Syrians, including 16 children, have been prevented from getting life-saving treatment since Jordan closed its border with Syria six months ago, an official from the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said Thursday.

Some of those patients have likely died, said Marjan Besuijen, a project coordinator for the group, known by its French acronym MSF.

Besuijen urged the Jordanian government to allow the evacuation of the most severely wounded Syrians to the kingdom, "basically giving them a chance to survive."

Jordan sealed the border in June, in response to a deadly cross-border attack on its security forces by Islamic extremists.

Government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Thursday that Jordan allows "critical cases" to enter the kingdom for treatment and also permits medical supplies to be sent to Syria.

Besuijen said that an MSF surgical ward in the Jordanian border town of Ramtha has stood virtually empty since the border closure. Before June, 50 to 80 war wounded from southern Syria were transferred to the Ramtha facility every month, she said.

Earlier this week, MSF decided to close a clinic in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp which previously had treated overflow patients from Ramtha.