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Aleppo doctor : 'Shedding tears for the injured children of Syria is not enough'

Dr Zaher Sahloul has worked in Aleppo and seen the horrific affect of airstrikes. He says incidents like that which left Omran Daqneesh stunned and bloodied are all too common in a city under siege. The pictures of the injured five-year old Omran Daqneesh have shocked the world, but doctors in Aleppo see dozens of desperate children like him every week, often with worse injuries and many entirely beyond help. Perhaps his individual tragedy will have a small silver lining if it reminds people far beyond Syria of the tragedy that has been unfolding there for years. 

Every time I work there I treat children, often so terribly wounded and traumatised that I wonder if the ones who survived were unluckier than the ones who died. I keep a picture from a second-grader in Aleppo, of helicopters bombing the city, blood and destruction below, but what is really shocking for me is that the dead children are smiling while the living ones are crying. I also keep photos of my first ever patient in Aleppo, a toddler called Hamzeh who had been shot by a government sniper, and brought to the hospital intensive care unit with a bullet in his brain. I had to tell his family he was brain dead, and then turn off the ventilator, which can be particularly hard in Syria because if the heart is beating many people cannot accept their child has no hope of surviving.

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