News / Middle East

    Aid Group Describes Healthcare Disaster in Syria

    FILE - A girl receives treatment in a field hospital in Aleppo, Syria, December 28, 2013.
    FILE - A girl receives treatment in a field hospital in Aleppo, Syria, December 28, 2013.
    Reuters
    Newborns freezing to death in hospital incubators, doctors cutting off limbs to stop patients from bleeding to death, surging cases of polio: a new report published on Monday paints a dire picture of Syria's collapsing healthcare system.

    The report, issued by charity Save the Children, says some 60 percent of Syria's hospitals have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the three-year-old conflict and nearly half of its doctors have fled the country.

    Over 140,000 people have died in the war, which started as a peaceful protest movement against President Bashar al-Assad and degenerated into civil conflict fueled by regional and international rivalries.

    In its report, Save the Children describes the fallout from the collapse of the medical system as “horrific,” as remaining hospitals and medical staff struggle to treat thousands of people wounded by the fighting.

    ”Syria's health system is now in such disarray that we have heard reports of doctors using old clothes for bandages and patients opting to be knocked unconscious with metal bars, because there are no anaesthetics,'' the report said.

    ”The lack of clean water means sterilization for bandages is nearly impossible, causing the threat of infection and possible death.''

    Children's limbs have been amputated because clinics did not have the equipment to treat their wounds, it said. Newborns have died in incubators because of power cuts and parents have administered intravenous drips to their children because there was not enough medical staff to help them.

    Patients have died from receiving wrong blood types, and transfusions have in some places been performed directly between people because of a lack of power, according to the report.

    The report quoted the Syrian American Medical Society as estimating that, since the start of the conflict, 200,000 Syrians had died from chronic illnesses because of a lack of access to treatment and drugs.

    Polio resurgence

    Syria's vaccination coverage has also been hit hard. Before the war, coverage was 91 percent, but fell to 68 percent just a year after the conflict's start, and is probably much lower now, the report said.

    Measles and meningitis have spread, and polio - which the report said was eradicated across Syria in 1995 - has now infected up to 80,000 children, it added.

    ”The breakdown of Syria's vaccination program has resulted in the re-emergence of polio in Syria,'' it said.

    ”Children born after 2010 have not been vaccinated for two years. There have been heavy restrictions in access to vaccines and health workers have not been able to reach children in need.''

    Factors including overcrowding and poor living conditions, water and sanitation have meant skin diseases including Leishmaniasis - a parasitic disease caused by the bite of the sandfly - have increased.

    There were fewer than 3,000 cases before the war, and now there are more than 100,000.

    Save the Children called for humanitarian groups to be given freedom of access to all areas and aid to be allowed across conflict lines, after ceasefires if necessary.

    ”Immediate investment in, and access to, child-focused health services is needed to ensure that children are not dying from preventable and treatable injuries and illnesses,'' it said.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora