Monday, February 1, 2016

What if this baby were mine?

What if this baby were mine?



By Ozan Kose


A man stands next to the body of a migrant child washed up on a beach in Canakkale's Bademli district on January 30, 2016 (AFP / Ozan Kose)
A man stands next to the body of a migrant child washed up on a turkish beach on January 30, 2016 (AFP / Ozan Kose)


Canakkale, Turkey, February 1, 2016 -- The baby is the first dead body I see when I get to the beach. He looks like he is nine or ten months old. He is dressed warmly and was wearing a hat. An orange pacifier is attached to his clothes. Near him floats a child of eight or nine years. Next to them a woman. Their mother perhaps.


The pacifier attached to the clothes of a drowned refugee baby boy. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
The pacifier attached to the clothes of a drowned refugee baby boy. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


I take a few photos. I walk along the beach. I see the body of another child on a rock. Later, I will have nightmares, I will spend hours not being able to speak. But at the moment, I don’t really feel anything, to be honest. The Turkish police are collecting the bodies. They drowned the night before in the waters off this coast. There are so many bodies. I can’t count them all.
For the moment, noone is taking care of the dead baby. I return to him and stay there, for about an hour, silent. I have a baby boy who is five months and a daughter who is eight years old. I ask myself what I would do if this were my baby. I ask myself what is happening to humanity.


Migrants at a campfire after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrants at a campfire after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


I have been in Turkey’s Cannakale region for several days. It’s a coastal region on the Turkish side of the Aegean Sea, where thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere have gathered hoping to catch a boat to the Greek island of Lesbos, just across the waters.


Refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


The situation here is very tense.


Migrants wait in the woods after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrants wait in the woods after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


The day before I was in the woods with dozens of migrants who had been cheated by the smugglers. They paid a small fortune to board a boat for Greece, but the boat that was to carry them across turned out to be much smaller than promised. Afraid of drowning, the migrants refused to get on board. The smugglers threatened them with firearms.


Migrants walk away from a beach after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrants walk away from a beach after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

A Syrian migrant looks out onto the sea after being stopped by Turkish police in his attempt to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
A Syrian migrant looks out onto the sea after being stopped by Turkish police in his attempt to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


The migrants, warming up by campfires as they waited to find another boat to take them to the promised land of Europe, were happy to see me, to share their problems with me.


Migrants wait in the woods after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrants wait in the woods after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


A refugee boy eats while camping after migrants were cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
A refugee boy eats while camping after migrants were cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


A woman changes her baby after migrants were cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
A woman changes her baby after migrants were cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


The children kept asking their parents, “So when are we going to get onto a boat?”


Migrants wait in the woods after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrants wait in the woods after being cheated by smugglers. January 29, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


Were some of those people with whom I spoke in those woods on board the overcrowded boat that sank in calm weather overnight between Friday January 29 and Saturday January 30 a few hundred meters from the coast?
Definitely. Maybe. Difficult to say.


Migrant father and child. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrant father and child. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


Migrant mother and child. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrant mother and child. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


Migrant mother and child. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Migrant mother and child. January 27, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


That Saturday morning I am awakened around 7:00 am by sirens of numerous ambulances. My hotel is right next to the coast guard base. I realize right away that something serious must have happened.
When I get to the base, a boat docks. Bodies in plastic bags are taken off. I count around ten. There are also numerous survivors, including women and children. I get closer. They are from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. They are all in a state of shock.
They tell me that the weather was good, that the sea was calm, but that there were too many of them on the boat. It was a small tourist boat, with a capacity for 20 to 30 passengers. When it sank, it was carrying more than 100 refugees, each of whom had paid 1,200 euros to the smugglers to get on board.


Turkish police look for bodies on a beach. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Turkish police look for bodies on a beach. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


Police take the survivors to question them and I decide to get closer to where the sinking took place. The boat went down less than a kilometre from the coast, near the village of Bademli. When I get to the spot, I see the half-sunken wreck that’s now floating some 50 meters from shore.


The boat that sank with more than 100 refugees aboard. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
The boat that sank with more than 100 refugees aboard. (AFP/Ozan Kose)


The beach is covered by life jackets, personal effects and the bodies spat out by the cold Aegean waters. Including that of the baby at whose side I now sit.
As a photographer, I have covered riots and attacks. I’ve seen dead bodies. But this, this is the worst of them all.


Warning: graphic content



I look at his tiny body and I ask myself why. Why this interminable war in Syria. Rage fills me. Rage against all the politicians who have caused this, against all those smugglers who send people to their deaths.
Eventually a policeman comes, lifts the baby and puts him in a plastic bag. He too is crying.
Ozan Kose is an AFP photographer based in Istanbul. Follow him on Twitter.
This blog was written with Roland de Courson and translated by Yana Dlugy in Paris.


Turkish gendarmes carry the body of a migrant on a beach in Canakkale's Bademli district on January 30, 2016 (AFP / Ozan Kose)
Turkish gendarmes carry the body of a migrant on a beach in Canakkale's Bademli district on January 30, 2016 (AFP / Ozan Kose)


Refugee boat capsizes off Turkey





WARNING : Do not link directly to this page, do not use on social media.



At least 39 migrants, including several children, have drowned trying to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos on January 30, 2016.


The body of a drowned baby boy on the beach. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
(AFP / Ozan Kose)

Turkish police put the body of a child into a bodybag. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
(AFP / Ozan Kose)

The body of a drowned refugee child lies on the beach. The sunken boat is in the background. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
(AFP / Ozan Kose)

Turkish policemen put the body of a drowned refugee baby into a body bag. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
(AFP / Ozan Kose)

A Turkish policeman is overcome with emotion as he puts the body of a drowned refugee baby into a body bag. January 30, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
(AFP / Ozan Kose)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

المحافظة على صحة القلب

إنَّ اتِّباعَ أسلوب حياة صحِّي يجعل القلبَ أكثر عافية. وفيما يلي نصائحُ لتحسين صحَّة القلب:

المُحافظةُ على الحركة والنَّشاط

لابدَّ من القيام بنشاط رياضي معتدل الشدَّة لمدَّة 150 دقيقة في كلِّ أسبوع؛ ومن وسائل تحقيق هذا الهدف القيامُ بهذا النشاط لمدَّة 30 دقيقة خمسةَ أيَّام في الأسبوع. ويمكن اختيارُ النشاط الملائم للشخص حسبما يستطيع، مثل ركوب الدرَّاجة إلى العمل.

الإقلاعُ عن التَّدخين

التدخينُ هو أحدُ الأسباب الرئيسيَّة لمرض القلب التاجي coronary heart disease. وبعدَ مرور عام من ترك التدخين، ينخفض خطرُ الإصابة بنوبةٍ قلبية إلى نصف النسبة عندَ المدخِّنين تقريباً.

إنقاصُ الوزن

يمكن أن تؤدِّي زيادةُ الوزن إلى رفع خطر الإصابة بأمراض القلب. لذلك، لابدَّ من الالتزام بنظام غذائي متوازن وقليل الدهون، وغني بالفواكه والخضروات، فضلاً عن الكثير من النشاط البدني.

تقليلُ الملح

للحفاظ على ضغط الدم الصحِّي، يجب التوقُّفُ عن استخدام الملح على طاولة الطعام، مع محاولة التقليل من إضافته إلى الطبخ، أو الامتناع عن ذلك تماماً. وسرعان ما سيعتاد المرءُ على ذلك. كما يجب الانتباهُ إلى مستويات الملح المرتفعة في الأغذية المصنَّعة، من خلال التحقُّق من اللصاقات على المنتَجات الغذائية: يعدُّ الغذاءُ زائدَ الملح إذا كان يحتوي على أكثر من 1.5 غ منه (أو 0.6 غ من الصوديوم) في كلّ 100 غ.

تناولُ الطعام الصحِّي

ينبغي تناولُ خمس حصص من الفاكهة والخضروات يومياً، حيث يمكن إضافةُ الفواكه المجفَّفة إلى حبوب الافطار، وإضافة الخضروات إلى صلصات المعكرونة أو الكاري ... الخ.

تناولُ الأسماك

يُفضَّل تناولُ الأسماك الدهنية مرَّتين في الأسبوع، مثل سمك الماكريل (الإِسقُمري) والسَّردين والتونة الطازجة وسمك السَّلمون؛ فهي مصدرٌ ممتاز للدهون من نوع أوميغا3، والتي يمكن أن تساعدَ في الوقاية من أمراض القلب.

التقليلُ من الإجهاد النفسي والشدَّة

إذا كان الشخصُ يشعر بأنَّه تحت الضغط، يمكن أن يحسِّن صفاءَ ذهنه بالسير على قدميه. وسوف يساعد ذلك على ترتيب أفكاره، وتخفيف شدَّة التوتُّر. كما أنَّ المشيَ السريع يمثِّل جزءاً من النشاط الحركي اليومي أيضاً.

تجنُّبُ الدهون المشبَعة

يمكن أن يكونَ للتغييرات البسيطة في النظام الغذائي فوائد صحِّية إيجابية، مثل اختِيار حليب قليل الدهن أو خالٍ منه، وشرائح من اللحم الخالص (خالٍ من الدُّهن) وأطعمة مطبوخة بالبخار أو بالشواء بدلاً من القَلي.

تجنُّبُ الكُحول

إنَّ الابتعاد عن المشروبات الكحوليَّة كافَّة ينطوي على الكثير من المنافع الصحِّية، بما فيها تعزيزُ صحَّة القلب والأوعية الدمويَّة.

قراءةُ اللصاقات على المنتجات الغذائيَّة

عندَ التسوُّق، يجب قراءةُ الملصقات على عبوات المواد الغذائيَّة لمعرفة ما تحتوي عليه؛ وهذا ما يساعد على اتِّخاذ خيارات صحِّية.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Attacks on Health Care in Syria — Normalizing Violations of Medical Neutrality? via #NEJM

Attacks on Health Care in Syria — Normalizing Violations of Medical Neutrality?

Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A., Elise Baker, B.A., and Donna McKay, M.S.
November 18, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1513512
Article
References
In July 2015, a 26-year-old pediatrician described to our team of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) investigators his experiences in Aleppo, Syria's most populous city. When he was a medical student in 2012, government forces detained and severely beat him. He now works as an emergency medicine physician and surgery resident in a hospital that has twice been bombed by the Syrian government. He lives in fear of being killed by bombs on his way to work or while there. His family wants him to leave Syria as they did, but he explained, “It's our country, and if we leave, it will fall apart. At times, I think maybe I will leave and specialize and come back with better skills, but then I see how much the people need me. Maybe that's the biggest thing that's keeping me inside.”
Media coverage of Syria has focused on the exodus of refugees fleeing the sectarian warfare and the atrocities committed by the Islamic State.1 Less attention is paid to the Syrian government's destruction of hundreds of hospitals and clinics in opposition-controlled areas and deaths of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel. Since the conflict began in 2011, PHR has documented the killings of 679 medical personnel, 95% of them perpetrated by government forces. Some personnel were killed in bombings of their hospitals or clinics; some were shot dead; at least 157 were executed or tortured to death.2
In July, a PHR team investigated the state of the health care system in eastern Aleppo.3 Though Aleppo does not reflect the worst of the destruction in Syria today, conditions there illustrate the consequences of these repeated attacks: the city's medical facilities have been attacked nearly 50 times since opposition groups gained control of eastern Aleppo in 2012. The government has rained rockets, missiles, and since 2013, “barrel bombs” (100-to- 1000-kg barrels filled with explosives, shrapnel, nails, and oil that are dropped from helicopters and break into thousands of fragments on impact) on homes and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals. The number of barrel-bomb attacks reached an all-time high between April and July 2015. These bombs, which obliterate everything they hit and inflict head-to-toe injuries on anyone in their large blast radius, have had a devastating impact on life in eastern Aleppo. Only a quarter of the city's 1.2 million residents remain, more than two thirds of the hospitals have stopped functioning, and roughly 95% of doctors have been killed or have fled.3
Aleppo also provides countless examples of courage and resilience among health workers, which are an important part of the narrative of the Syrian crisis. Despite 3 years of death and destruction, Aleppo's remaining residents have shown what a dedicated, resilient community can achieve. Health professionals have described how they've rebuilt a health care system that rivals any created in a war zone. The city's 10 functioning hospitals (down from 33 in 2010) vary in size and capacity, but the fact that the largest hospital has only 13 physicians indicates how understaffed the facilities are. The available equipment also varies widely, and a lack of functioning CT and MRI scanners makes it difficult or impossible to treat traumatic brain injuries. Yet the lead surgeon in an Aleppo trauma unit noted, “Maybe we are only a few physicians in a simple hospital and with simple equipment, but we save a lot of lives.”
The killing of health workers during conflicts is not new. Governments and armed groups have increasingly attacked medical institutions and people who have taken an oath to provide care (see International Humanitarian Law and Its Violations). Whether such acts are part of broader attacks in civilian areas or represent deliberate efforts to punish health workers, civilians, and fighters for presumed political affiliations, to scare doctors away from treating “enemies” or exposing evidence of war crimes, or to destroy vital infrastructure, they violate international humanitarian law.
Nowhere have such violations been as egregious as those committed by government forces in Syria — violations that are especially troubling given that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is a physician. Disruption of health services has become a brutal weapon of war. Although almost all parties to the Syrian conflict are violating human rights and humanitarian law, the scope and scale of the government's assault on medical personnel and facilities are among the worst since the adoption of the modern Geneva Conventions.
When health care systems come under assault, the losses are far greater than the toll of health workers killed and hospital bricks and mortar demolished. Safe spaces for injured civilians to seek medical care are destroyed, and whole populations may be denied access to treatment. When these attacks are as widespread as they are in Syria, the consequences reverberate across the country and region.
All the doctors we interviewed who remain working in Aleppo explained that if they leave, people will die for lack of medical care. As they risked their lives to treat civilians, including colleagues, whose bodies were shattered by barrel-bomb attacks, these physicians expressed dismay at the international community's failure to enforce the Geneva Conventions. They emphasized that the main obstacle for medical personnel was lack of safety, and the main need was for protection. As one explained, “You must be safe to save others . . . If you kill the physician or destroy the hospital, the medicine doesn't benefit any people. The main problem is the inability to protect the staff.” In particular, all the physicians we interviewed emphasized the priority of stopping the barrel bombs. One told us, “If the barrels stop, doctors will come back. We just need to stop the barrels; it's the first and the last thing we need.”
These violations of international humanitarian law have been well documented in real time, yet the international response has been minimal. The United Nations (UN) Security Council — the international body mandated to protect civilians in conflict, enforce international humanitarian law, and refer cases to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes — remains paralyzed by politics. It passed a single resolution in February 2014 demanding that all parties to the conflict end attacks on civilians and respect the principle of medical neutrality. Since then, it has watched attacks on civilians and medical facilities increase in Syria without taking further actions. We believe that governments and nongovernmental organizations should call out the Security Council for failing to maintain international peace and security and ensure accountability for perpetrators, and in the event of continued failure these organizations should demand a restructuring of the Council. In addition, individual governments can step up diplomatic pressure and consider imposing sanctions against violators.
If the international community does not mobilize to stop the attacks on Syria's medical professionals and infrastructure, civilians will continue to suffer and die. In addition, lasting peace cannot be achieved unless the perpetrators of these crimes are held accountable. The effects of these violations and absence of accountability will go far beyond Syria. The longer the international community fails to enforce humanitarian law, the greater the chance that these violations will become the “new normal” in armed conflicts around the world, eroding the long-standing norm of medical neutrality. Left unchecked, attacks on medical care will become a standard weapon of war.
Although the international community's failure to act has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, it's not too late to change course. As the global body with the most power to stop these attacks in the short term, the UN Security Council should enforce its resolution to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. Effective protection of medical neutrality would save lives and is a necessary prerequisite to any effective peace process. Rebuilding Syria's health care system will take decades, but the physicians we interviewed stand ready to do it. They first need support from the international community to ensure that the right to provide and receive medical care is protected.

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND ITS VIOLATIONS.

The first Geneva Convention in 1864 enshrined the principles that protect medical spaces and health workers from interference and attack during armed conflicts. Updated and enhanced, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 have been ratified by 196 countries, including Syria, which also ratified Additional Protocol I. These require that all parties to a conflict protect and ensure the functionality of medical facilities, transport, and personnel; all parties to a conflict protect and ensure unbiased treatment for both wounded civilians and combatants; and medical personnel provide impartial care to both civilians and wounded combatants, in keeping with medical ethics. An attack targeting a medical facility would be legal only if all three of the following requirements are fulfilled:
1. The facility is being used to commit acts harmful to the enemy that are not related to the facility's humanitarian function.
2. The party attacking the facility planned a proportional attack, judging that all anticipated military advantage gained from the attack would be greater than the potential collateral damage to protected civilians and civilian objects.
3. The party attacking gave advance warning, allowing time for people to cease all acts harmful to the enemy, explain themselves if a mistake was made, or evacuate the wounded and sick.
An attack on a medical worker would be legal only if the worker were directly participating in hostilities.4
Since the 1990s, lack of respect for these protections has been well documented. In Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, and the former Yugoslavia, combatants have targeted civilians and in some cases entered hospitals to remove and execute patients. In Bahrain and Libya, physicians tending wounded civilian demonstrators have been arrested and tortured. In the past decade, serious attacks on medical neutrality have also occurred in combat areas in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, and Yemen. The October 3, 2015, U.S. Air Force bombing of a Médecins sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, leading to at least 30 deaths of patients and medical personnel, is but one recent example of such attacks.
Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.
This article was published on November 18, 2015, at NEJM.org.

SOURCE INFORMATION

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (M.H.); and Physicians for Human Rights, New York (M.H., E.B., D.M.).

Friday, October 30, 2015

اسمي د/ ماجد..و انا طبيب سوري آخر ممن قتلوا أثناء أداء مهام عملهم

'My Name is Dr. Majed and I Am Another Syrian Doctor Killed During Duty'

'My Name is Dr. Majed and I Am Another Syrian Doctor Killed During Duty'

Posted: Updated: 
Print
My name is Dr. Mohamad Majed Bari
My friends and patients called me Dr. Majed
I was a doctor not a terrorist
I saved lives while terrorists take lives away
I was killed when my car was targeted with a heat-seeking missile by a Syrian fighter jet
I bled to death
No emergency crew was able to reach me on time
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN are not allowed by the government in my hometown behind rebel lines
They stay away safe in the capital
They have to abide by the system's bureaucracy
The system does not protect me or my patients
There were no news reports of my death.
The reporters are all in Kobani
I was riding in an ambulance in Aleppo trying to save another life
Another three civilians were killed with me
They joined another 200,000 Syrians killed in my homeland
I was working with a humanitarian organization called Saving Lives!
I was killed while saving lives
"How Ironic," you may say but Syria is the land of ironies these days
Many of my colleagues left Aleppo because they were afraid about losing their lives.
Some of my friends were detained, tortured and killed just because they insisted on working as doctors
They swore to save lives
They were treated like criminals or even worse
We were told that the whole world respects our neutrality
We were told the Geneva convention guarantees our impartiality
We were told that being a doctor is like being an angel
You give from yourself to heal your patient
The regime did not respect any of that
The world did not rush to help us
We suffered in silence like my homeland
Some of my friends died drowning trying to flee on boat to a new land of hope
They were swallowed by unsympathetic waves of the Mediterranean sea
I stayed because it is my duty to save lives
I stayed because if I left who else will stay?
Who else will offer a hand of healing to a sobbing child pulled out of the rubble of her home destroyed by a barrel bomb?
Who else will vaccinate the children in my neighborhood so they don't have polio or measles?
Everyone left us to face our fate
We have no one but God
He is watching those who deserted us 
I guess He is testing them and testing us
I don't expect anyone to react to my death
I don't expect anyone to stop the killing in my hometown
I lost my faith in humanity
But I lived a fulfilling life and I don't regret a minute I had serving my patients
I will join another 560 Syrian doctors who were killed by the war criminals
My patients will miss me and so will my wife and two young children
I will miss what is left of my city and homeland
I will miss the courage of my colleagues who are still working
Saving lives as usual
I will miss their faith, their warmth and their humor
And I will miss the sounds of the barrel bombs
It is too silent here
It is too cold
It is too dark
It is too "un-Syrian"
Pray for me and for my homeland
2014-11-05-15290_10152280100211685_3057519165091509338_n.jpg
Dr Majed Bari with his Newborn Child
My name: Dr. Majed Bari
Medical School: Aleppo University Medical School
Graduation: With honors
Date of my death:10/15/2014
Place of Death: Aleppo City, Castello road
Cause of Death: Heat-Seeking Missile
Reason of Death: Saving Lives
Zaher Sahloul is a Syrian-American critical care specialist who is the president of The Syrian American Medical Society, SAMS.

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