Save the Children has issued a report that paints a “horrific” picture of Syria’s collapsing healthcare system.
“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 sterilisation for bandages is nearly impossible, causing the threat of infection and possible death.”
Syria’s vaccination coverage has also been hit hard.
Polio was eradicated across Syria nearly 20 years ago – but it’s reemerged, infecting up to 80,000 children, according to the charity.
Dr. Melhem Harmouche explained that many cases (of polio) were found in Syria: “In Deir Al-Zour, about 20 cases were identified and reported in Syria, and because there are a lot of Syrian refugees fleeing to Lebanon, to the camps due to the shelling, being under siege and the economic situation, the Mediterranean countries around Syria are carrying out protective campaigns,” he said.
Over 140,000 people have died in the war. It started as a peaceful protest movement against President Bashar al-Assad and degenerated into civil conflict fuelled by regional and international rivalries.
Save the Children is calling for humanitarian groups to be given freedom of access to all areas and aid to be allowed across conflict lines.