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New international partnerships needed to boost healthcare in Syria |



The Meet online organized ahead of next week’s European Union conference to ensure continued international support for Syria and neighboring countries hosting millions of Syrian refugees.

The needs inside Syria are staggering. According to a urgent appeal launched by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Challenges to health delivery

“Delivering health services to those most in need remains extremely challenging; not only because COVID-19 pandemic but also because more than half of medical facilities have closed or partially operated”, said Dr. Akjamal Makhtumova, Representative of this agency in Syria.

WHO hosted the virtual meeting, together with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, said keeping global attention on Syria can be challenging, as war has raged for more than a decade and Other crises continued to emerge, including the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.

“Whilst that is true – the television crews that have recorded children being pulled from the rubble and hospitals being bombed into rubble are not capturing the plight of Syria as it used to be – the suffering of the Syrian people persists,“I said.

Dr. Al-Mandhari recently concluded a mission to Syria. He shares heartbreaking examples, including the story of a single mother of two blind sons who waited two years for heart surgery.

Syria has lost more than half of its medical professionals since the war began, and hospital equipment is stretched.

Healing and Empowerment

Dr Al-Mandhari said WHO is working with partners “to heal and empower Syria to become a peaceful and prosperous country – to build resilient communities, protect the right to health”. and reduce social inequality”.

He highlighted how improving health in Syria aligns with global efforts to achieve sustainable development that benefits all people and the planet.

This requires new international cooperation that will maintain both the resilience and health of the Syrian people, focusing on areas such as investment, knowledge sharing, policy and the rule of law.

“Syria’s future of peace and equality depends on the renewed commitment of the international community, its member states and partners,” he said. “We need New multilateralism for the health of the Syrian people and ensure economic and social stability, and common prosperity. ”

End suffering

While acknowledging the great needs and suffering, Dr Al-Mandhari said he returned from Syria with optimism, pointing to signs of resilience and hope.

“Although human and financial resources are scarce, I also see medical professionals having to move mountains and forests to serve their people. Despite the pain I felt, I met the amazing people behind these devastating numbers,” he said.

Let’s not forget the Syrian people. Let us put an end to their suffering. Let’s give them our attention, especially now that the deteriorating socioeconomic situation has left millions in need.”





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