A media release from WHO: Millions of Syrians endure deteriorating health crisis: WHO calls for increased funding. Excerpt:
Aleppo, Syria, 27 March, 2015 – Ahead of next week’s third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait, the World Health Organization (WHO) appeals for US$ 124 million to continue its support to health services in the Syrian Arab Republic.
“Scenes of severely injured children and civilians are yet another stark reminder of the immense and continuous suffering of the Syrian people” says Ms. Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria, who visited Al Razy hospital in Aleppo shortly after scores of war wounded people were brought in on 23 March.
It is estimated that there are more than 1.3 million people in need of health assistance in Aleppo. Last year, WHO delivered almost 3 million medical treatments to the Governorate, of which 1.2 million treatments reached opposition-controlled and besieged areas.
Only four out of eleven public hospitals remain operational in Aleppo and all health facilities are overcrowded and experiencing critical shortages of medical supplies.
Worsening situation across the country
Across the Syrian Arab Republic, 57% of public hospitals are only partially functioning or completely out of service.
Local production of medicines has been reduced by 70% and many life-saving treatments are not available.
The number of available health professionals has fallen to approximately 45% of 2011 levels and there are severe shortages of surgeons, anaesthesiologists, laboratory professionals, and female health professionals.
The water supply infrastructure has been destroyed and the current availability of safe water inside the Syrian Arab Republic is now at one third of pre-crisis levels.
“As weather temperatures become warmer, There is an increased risk of waterborne diseases. Therefore, improving hygiene conditions and practices is essential to protecting the population,” says Ms Hoff.
In 2014, WHO supported the delivery of an increased number of medical treatments which rose to more than 13.8 million treatments compared to 6.1 million in 2013. Almost one third of WHO’s supplies and equipment were delivered to hard-to-reach and opposition-controlled areas