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Health Ministry and Emergency Departments at International Organizations Discuss Health Situation
Minister of Healthm, Saad al-Nayef, said the health sector has been able to reach its best level over the past years, but is now faced with various challenges and difficulties due to the economic siege imposed on Syria and the terrorist acts of the armed groups.

The Minister's remarks came during a meeting on Sunday with heads and directors of emergency departments in a number of international organizations.

Al-Nayef stressed that the health sector has made a remarkable progress over the past years with 92 hospitals and 1901 health centers spread in the provinces, in addition to an integral ambulance service and 70 medicine factories that cover 93 percent of the local market needs.

"Today the health sector is faced with many challenges and difficulties due to the unfair economic siege and the terrorism of the armed groups," said the Minister.

He noted that the acts of the armed terrorist groups have caused the destruction of 48 hospitals, 27 of which went completely out of service, in addition to 400 ambulances, 200 of them are also out of service.

Al-Nayef added that the armed groups' terrorism also affected the medical cadres and resulted in the martyrdom of 52 workers and the injury of 72, in addition to the abduction of 20 others.

As for the medicine factories, the Health Minister stressed five of these factories went out of service after being targeted by the terrorist groups, while others stopped working for certain periods due to the lack of diesel and power shortage.

Al-Nayef pointed out that the Ministry is working with the NGOs and international organizations to ensure the delivery of medical services to those who need them.

He indicated the Ministry's need for more support from the international organizations concerned particularly in terms of medicines and various medical equipment, in addition to help in the reconstruction of infrastructure and damaged health establishments.

For his part, Director of the Emergency Programs at the UNICEF, Ted Chaiban, expressed the international organizations' willingness to increase the level of cooperation with the Syrian side after specifying the priorities and necessary needs.

He pointed out that the success of the polio and measles vaccination campaign, which has recently been carried out in Syria, constituted an evidence on the Health Ministry's commitment to reach out to children everywhere.

Chaiban highlighted the need to provide the international organizations with the necessary information and data for them to be able to get an accurate picture of the situation and accordingly prepare their programs.

The organizations need also to get acquainted with the civil associations specialized in the health field which are working on the ground in order to cooperate with them for delivering health services to all citizens, Chaiban added.

He said today is the time to pay Syria back for having generously received and hosted large numbers of refugees, stressing the organizations' readiness to work with anybody anywhere to reach everybody.

In turn, Director of Emergency Risk Management at the World Health Organization (WHO), Richard Brennan, called upon the Health Ministry to specify its needs and priorities, wondering if there is any need for increased international presence on the ground and about the best ways to support the Ministry's work.

He considered that health situation, which is in a very difficult and complicated state, can be improved through increasing cooperation between the Ministry and the international organizations.

The meeting was attended by Representative of the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Trude Strand, Representative of the WHO, Elizabeth Hoff, the UN Population Fund Resident Representative, Laila Bakr, and the UNICEF Representative, Youssef Abdul-Jalil.
Tus 2013-01-22  |  00:23:01   
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