WHO delivers more than 125 tons of medical supplies to Syria
The WHO delivered a range of medical supplies to areas across Syria over the past two weeks, including both government and opposition-controlled towns. The medical supplies included surgical materials, medicine for chronic disease, medicine for infectious disease, ventilators, infant incubators and intensive care unit beds.
Since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011, local access to health care has starkly decreased. Local production of medicines has fallen by more than 65 percent and many medical facilities are no longer operable due to the vast displacement of Syrians who fled to protect themselves and their families from the violence.
Medical shipments supplied by the WHO and its partners in 2013 reached approximately 4.6 million people affected by the Syrian crisis. With the support of 36 local nongovernmental organizations and international health partners, 2,500 local health care workers were also equipped with medical training and the necessary supplies to help those in need.
To help prevent a disease outbreak in the country, the WHO established the Early Warning, Alert and Response System. More than 400 medical facilities from across Syria utilize the system.
Under International Humanitarian Law under the Geneva Conventions, regardless of the ongoing conflict, health workers, patients and facilities must be respected and neutral in the face of the conflict.