The ugly face of war has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and jeopardized millions more across all areas of Syria. Now, as the middle eastern country enters its seventh year of war, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global plea for more to be done as the national healthcare system “seriously deteriorates.”
Last week WHO issued a statement about the declining medical programs throughout the Middle Eastern country of Syria, classifying each of them as a “casualty” of war.
In an interview with Faithwire, a WHO representative based in Syria said, “there has been a gradual deterioration of the health system in the country.”
In the past, “(Syria) used to have the strongest health indicators in the Middle Eastern region and vaccination coverage was at 95%. Unfortunately this has fallen below 60 percent today.” And now, “We have many people living in hard to reach and besieged areas,” senior healthcare worker, Elizabeth Hoff said from her Damascus office.
Hoff also told Faithwire, humanitarians in the country are dealing with a large internally displaced population, estimates state that there are roughly 6.5 million people without a home in the country. And now roughly 80 percent are living below poverty.
As a medical professional, one of her biggest concerns are related to the number of reported disabled people. She estimates that over 500,000 people have been disabled by the conflict and are living with serious chronic diseases like kidney failure, heart issues, asthma and diabetes.
In many of these cases, people are in need of regular medical care but are finding it difficult to receive it, especially in hard to reach areas.
So many people with health issues are moving in with relatives who live close to hospitals and medical institutions to gain access to the health services they need. But, the people in besieged ares have little to no way of getting out to get the help they need and are left in dire straights.
Hoff has been in the Middle Eastern country since the spring of 2012 and is responsible for all of the WHO programs inside the country.
As stories like this come out of Syria, many across the world are left scratching their heads and trying to figure out what to do to help.
Organizations like Doctor’s Without Borders are accepting donations to help those internally displaced in the country. And another one by the name of World Help is also soliciting donations to help the Syrian people in need.
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