Syria: medicines for serious illnesses are missing

US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Hundreds of Syrian children with serious illnesses are endangered by the country’s medical system, heavily burdened by the nearly 10-year war and economic penalties.

The long-running war and sanctions that have weighed on the Syrian state have caused a critical shortage of medicines for serious illnesses.

Children diagnosed with cancer are the most at risk of this situation.

Before the war began nine years ago, Syria’s public health system was one of the best in the Middle East, but now most of the country’s hospitals have been closed and a significant number of medical staff have migrated.

In Aleppo, the Center for the Treatment of Children with Cancer, more than 500 children regularly attend.

“Vaccines hurt me a lot, but I do not want my family to be upset when I see them crying, I feel very worried,” says a seven-year-old patient.

The bombing in northern Syria after the crisis erupted also knocked down the only hospital specializing in serious illnesses in children.

The US Senate’s tough economic sanctions since December have further exacerbated Syria’s foreign trade and import of anti-cancer drugs, even though these products have in principle been excluded from the measures.

“We have a case of a child who was not treated in time for three months due to deficient doses, we could not find medication even in the black market, so his stage suffered regression, which means that the chances of ‘were cured decreased from 70 to 30 percent,’ says one of the Centre’s doctors.

The poor health system according to the World Health Organization has led the average life expectancy in Syria to decline by 8.3 years to 63.8 years since the start of the war, with women living on average 69 years and men 10 years shorter.


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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.