WHO regional director calls for lifting sanctions imposed on Syria

Geneva, SANA-The Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, has called on the international community to lift the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people and show solidarity with them to give them a chance to lead a dignified life in which they enjoy health and wellness.

In his statement on the health needs in Syria after his visit to Damascus and Daraa during the past three days, Dr. Al-Mandhari said: “These sanctions are affecting public health and the economic situation, not to mention the resulting shortage of fuel, water and electricity.”

Al-Mandhari noted that more than 20,000 children under the age of five all over Syria suffer from malnutrition, including 1,500 children who are at risk of developing medical complications due to the lack of medical supplies which resulted from the economic sanctions imposed on the country, which left medical equipment idle due to the inability to import spare parts needed to repair them.

Al-Mandhari warned that many Syrians are still vulnerable to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, which appeared in 6 provinces and killed 23 people and infected 253 others.

He affirmed the need to confront this health crisis and provide the necessary support to all Syrians to recover and rebuild their country.

For her part, Dr. Iman Shanqiti, Acting Representative of the World Health Organization in Syria, said: “The organization is coordinating with the Syrian government to ensure that all medical aid reaches those in need.”

She added that a shipment of medicines arrived in Damascus and it is provided by the logistics center in Dubai as part of efforts to confront cholera, and a second shipment is expected to arrive at a later time.

 “Ensuring the health and wellness of every Syrian is a goal that goes beyond the responsibility of the health authorities and the World Health Organization and requires actions taken by other sectors and all stakeholders, including the Syrian citizens themselves, who must be more aware of the steps that each of them needs to take to protect himself and others,” Dr. Shanqiti said.

Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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