Syria’s health services are in crisis

Since the conflict began in 2011, Syria’s healthcare services have deteriorated to a shocking degree. Many hospitals have been completely destroyed and others are unable to function due to power outages and a serious lack of basic medical supplies. Tens of thousands of civilians have suffered grave injuries due to the violence, and indiscriminate bombing has cruelly rendered the facilities where they could receive treatment useless.

From November 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that all hospitals in the ruined city of Aleppo have ceased to operate. Families who were not evacuated from this region and those who chose to return after the well-publicised battle of Aleppo have no means of accessing medical care.

Due to nation-wide shortages, the prices of medical equipment and medicines have sky-rocketed, leaving families unable to afford treatment even in places where it is still available.

Supporting vulnerable women and children

It is women and children who have suffered most in this awful situation, and preventable deaths of pregnant women and premature infants have increased exponentially since the start of the Syrian crisis.

Human Appeal has been supporting the Imaan Hospital in Syria since December 2014. Our operatives are on the ground, working to provide equal access to paediatric healthcare and medicines for children and premature babies. Every child should be able to start life free from the risk of dying in early infanthood due to a lack of basic services. Through the Imaan Hospital, we are also providing pre-natal and post-natal care for pregnant women and new mothers.

The impact of the recent US restrictions

The US administration’s recent restrictions on NGO funding are expected to have a serious impact on the work of humanitarian aid agencies. They prevent non-US NGOs from receiving funds from America if they provide abortion counselling or referrals, or involve themselves in advocacy efforts.  

The United Nations Foundation describes these restrictions as jeopardising the health and well-being of the world’s most vulnerable girls and women. A statement from the UN reads: “When the policy was last enacted, health care clinics in many countries were forced to close and outreach services for the hardest to reach populations were eliminated, leaving many of the world’s poorest people without access to critical services, such as maternal and child health care, HIV testing and counselling, and contraceptives. Without these life-saving services, more women and infants died due to pregnancy-related complications.”

These international developments pose a risk to our work with the Imaan Hospital and elsewhere in the world. The women and children of Syria are in grave danger. They need your support more now than ever.

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