Bahraini volunteers aid Syria gas victims
Manama, August 29, 2013
Bahraini volunteers have supplied thousands of vaccines and nasal drops to help Syrian victims of an alleged chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus last week.
Opposition activists have said at least 500 people - and possibly twice that many - were killed by rockets carrying sarin nerve gas or something similar fired by Syrian troops.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi has described the allegations as "illogical and fabricated" and United Nations chemical weapons experts are in Damascus to establish whether chemical weapons have been used.
However, members of the Bahrain-based One Body campaign wasted no time in responding to the reports - contacting aid groups in Jordan to buy vaccines and nasal drops for victims, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
"We contacted aid groups and volunteers in Jordan to purchase 200,000 vaccines and over 2,000 nasal drops to treat those affected in Ghouta, where chemical weapons were used against Syrians," campaign co-ordinator Khalid Al Balooshi told the GDN.
"The funds were collected in a short span of time and the first shipment carrying 100,000 vaccines reached Ghouta last week. The second shipment is expected to reach by the end of this week."
He said there were also plans to open at least 40 clinics in Ghouta funded by Bahrainis.
"It is getting worse out there and we need to prepare ourselves and plan strategies to help our brothers and sisters in Syria," he said.
"We plan to have 40 clinics in Ghouta to help treat those affected because of the use of chemical weapons."
He said some clinics had already been established at a cost of $7,275 each - adding he was in no doubt that forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad were using chemical weapons.
"This is a gross human rights violation committed by the Syrian regime and no-one can keep quiet," he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged all sides in the conflict to give safe passage and access to the UN inspectors probing the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The team is on a 14-day mission led by Swedish scientist Dr Ake Sellstrom and was delayed on Tuesday by sniper fire, but returned to the original site later in the day.
Al Balooshi revealed his organisation was also working to assist more than 200 orphans, who have lost their parents as a result of the ongoing conflict that has reportedly claimed more than 100,000 lives.
The GDN reported last month that as part of the One Body campaign, money donated by Bahrainis had been used to buy ambulances, bread-making machines and 100 portable cabins to temporarily shelter the homeless in the northwest city of Idleb. – TradeArabia News Service