Syria gets airborne hospital as early New Year’s present from Russia

As Russia’s Emergencies Ministry wraps up its medical mission in Aleppo, it is leaving behind its leftover medical equipment and medicine stockpiles as a gift from Russia to Syria. Syria now has a hospital outfitted to be airlifted to wherever needed.

The ministry dispatched the hospital and medical personnel to Syria in November as the fight for the eastern part of Aleppo turned in favor of the government forces. Over the month, it has treated over 1,500 patients, most of whom were women and children.

The hospital includes 16 medical and technical pods, as well as 22 connectors and gateway modules, which can be airlifted to a location in need of medical assistance and deployed in the required configuration. The facility can serve up to 200 patients a day and has 60 beds for inpatients.

The mobile hospital has three surgery sections and an intensive care unit, as well as bays for regular patient diagnostics and treatment, plus living quarters for the medical staff.

The paperwork transferring ownership of the airborne hospital from Russia to Syria was signed in Aleppo on Saturday. Aleksand Romanov, head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s international affairs department, said he hoped that the gift would help the Syrians better provide medical care to the needy.

Over the past week, Syrian doctors and medical personnel received training in how to deploy and operate the Russian hospital, which has inflatable elements, autonomous utilities, and other equipment capable of being swiftly relocated and independently operated. Syria’s health officials thanked their Russian colleagues for their contribution.

The Russian medical mission in Aleppo has been praised by the World Health Organization’s representative in Syria, Elizabeth Hoff, who said that she appreciated how fast Russia deployed the hospital in Syria.

“I spoke to many patients, who spoke greatly about the treatment they had been given by the Russian doctors,” she said, as cited by the Russian ministry.