21:39 GMT +321 March 2018
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    Ambulances in a liberated neighborhood of eastern Aleppo, Syria. File photo

    Big Professionals: Syrian Doctors Braving Their Way Through War

    © Sputnik/ Mikhail Alayeddin
    Middle East
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    In an interview with Sputnik Arabic, Muhammed Nadim al Shihabi, chief doctor of a hospital in Aleppo, specifically focused on how the ongoing civil war in his country has altered the work of Syria's surgeons.

    Despite the civil war in Syria showing no signs of abating after five long years, Syrian doctors remain involved in work which remains virtually invisible to casual observers and the media, Dr. Muhammed Nadim al-Shihabi told Sputnik Arabic.

    The doctors are fighting for lives of the wounded Syrians who come to the Aleppo hospital every day, he explained.

    "The medics have never dealt with such injuries before, which is why they had to begin with scratch. However, non-stop work, a huge flow of patients, lack of staff, drugs and medical equipment have helped Syrian surgeons become seasoned professionals," Dr. al-Shihabi said.

    He added that despite the fact that the Aleppo hospital was shelled more than 50 times, the doctors continued surgeries which sometimes lasted 10 hours.

    Due to the shelling, the doctors had to use the light from their mobile phones and improvised anesthetics in order to complete some of the surgery conducted in war-ravaged Aleppo, according to Dr. al-Shihabi.

    He said that the doctors can now distinguish a gunshot wound from a shrapnel injury at a glance.

    "Students are actively involved in medicine [at the Aleppo hospital]. They lend a helping hand to surgeons in laboratories and X-ray rooms as well as during diagnostic examinations. The hospital staff has become a united team that has become used to every emergency condition," he said.

    Dr. Al-Shihabi thanked Moscow for rendering medical assistance to the Aleppo hospital's staff, who received Russian field hospital equipment and medicine.

    He said that Russian doctors had saved the lives of many Syrians and helped their Syrian colleagues restore normal working conditions.

    He added that Syrian healthcare is undergiong a whole array of problems now that a lot of Syrian doctors went abroad and the siege of Aleppo prevented medics from obtaining necessary drugs and repairing foreign-made equipment.

    Dr. Al-Shihabi expressed hope that these difficulties will finally become history, and that one day Syrian doctors will share their experience with the next generation of medics, who will use it in civilian life.

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