WHO urges Syrian warring parties to allow medical supplies to besieged areas

AMMAN, March 14 (KUNA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday urged the warring parties in Syria to let the medical supplies pass to the besieged areas.
“We urge all parties to the conflict to allow medical and surgical supplies to be included in the humanitarian convoys sent to besieged areas,” the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean said in a press release published in Amman.
“When timely access to surgical care is undermined, serious and long-term consequences impact the health of individuals and communities,” it added.
The WHO stressed that without “continuous access to basic medicines, people with chronic diseases risk serious complications and death. WHO renews its calls on parties to the conflict to lift the siege, and allow unhindered and sustained access to communities across the country.” Five years since the conflict began in Syria, millions of people across the country continue to suffer from limited access to basic medical care services because of ongoing conflict and a deteriorating health system, it stated.
In addition, over 11 million people are in need of health assistance that many hospitals and primary health clinics are unable to adequately provide. More than 4.8 million people have taken refuge in neighboring countries and beyond.
According to the release, since 2012, the annual number of treatments WHO provided has increased from one million to 17.2 million to meet shortages in medicines and medical supplies. In 2015, almost one third (30 percent) of WHO’s deliveries were to hard-to-reach, opposition-controlled and besieged areas.
The Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean is one of WHO’s six regional offices around the world. It serves the region which comprises 21 member states and the occupied Palestinian territory (West Bank and Gaza Strip), with a population of nearly 583 million people. (end) mjb.msa