Massive Car Bomb Explodes; Gift of the Givers Hospital Inundated

News just in from Syria from our representatives state that a massive car bomb was detonated in Darkoush City around 9am today in the market place.  It was a busy time in the morning as family people were going about their daily activity in preparation for the Muslim festival of "Eid-ul Adha" tomorrow.  Apparently, one car exploded and ignited four cars nearby.   Initial reports state that 60 have died and 130 have been injured.  There have been many severe burn injuries with complicated general trauma; 31 of these patients have been rushed to Turkey as the Gift of the Givers Hospital does not have a Burns Unit as yet.  The hospital is on a rapid expansion programme, has installed a dialysis unit but still needs to establish more theatres, a CT Scan room and other value adding facilities.

ALL the victims are civilian.  The explosion took place 1km away from the hospital not far from the underground restaurant where our medical team moved to after the restaurant in which we initially ate was targeted during our mission in April 2013.  About 90 patients were rushed to the hospital with medium to severe degrees of injury.  We have released funds for the urgent purchase of emergency medical supplies this morning.

Gift of the Givers Hospital has been seeing an increasing number of patients as word has been spreading around Syria both about the facility and its capability.  We have expanded the hospital, brought in more equipment and supplies and have increased the number of medical specialists now serving the hospital.  In addition, we have been sending trauma teams and supplies to other facilities in the event of severe and heavy casualties following intense bombardment in those specific regions.  Ironically, the head of the Gift of the Givers Hospital, Dr Ahmed Ghandour, a cardiac surgeon, (now doing all types of medical procedures), returned from Maaret el Noaman City this morning.  He went in to assist due to the huge increase in casualties over the past few days; that city is now almost totally destroyed.

Gift of the Givers has set up a school about 1.5km from the hospital and are supporting a new refugee camp, called Hammam Sheik Issa Camp, established just two weeks ago on the banks of the Orantes River, about 15km away from the hospital.  The first of 2000 refugees have arrived from the Ariha region, once again due to the increased fighting and total destruction of cities.  We supplied tents, blankets and food.  Our activities in Syria are on going.  In addition we are taking care of Syrian refugees, of which there are now 25000, in Yemen.

Those wanting to make further contributions to the Syrian campaign are welcome to do so into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052278611, Branch Code 057525.  Please fax or email deposit slip with contact details for acknowledgement. The needs are huge, the suffering indescribable, the situation collapsing into a disaster of epidemic proportions with each day; to add to the crisis, winter is round the corner, there will be torrential downpours and rivers will flood.  Refugees will have to move into caves.  In their own words, "there is no safe place in Syria except the cemetery as you can't die twice".  These people need the assistance from all of humanity.  The death toll has transcended 120 000 already.

May the Almighty's Mercy be upon them.

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