Attacks on health care services in Syria must end: WHO
A WHO official on Friday urged warring factions to stop targeting Syria's depleted health care sector, and to allow the immediate and safe evacuation of the sick and wounded who are trapped in conflict areas.
Geneva: A WHO official on Friday urged warring factions to stop targeting Syria's depleted health care sector, and to allow the immediate and safe evacuation of the sick and wounded who are trapped in conflict areas.
"Throughout this entire conflict, we have seen regular attacks on health services. In the last few months the situation has got desperately worse," Xinhua news agency quoted Rick Brennan, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) department of emergency risk management and humanitarian response, as saying.
"Some of the data that we have collected indicates that out of over 100 public hospitals throughout the country, only 45 per cent are fully functional," he said.
While the health situation on the ground is dire throughout the country, the official warned that the situation in Aleppo was significantly worse, especially in eastern parts of the city where fewer than 30 doctors were catering to the needs of up to 275,000 people.
"Children and other civilians are being treated on the floor, in corridors. There are not enough intensive care beds," said Brennan, who stressed that the "Geneva Conventions prohibit attacks on health care and promotes the neutrality of health services, health facilities, and health workers".
According to a new WHO report, 63 alerts on attacks carried out by air to surface missiles and barrel bombs were documented across the warn-torn country in August this year, up from 54 in July.
The attacks over these two months resulted in the deaths of at least 52 people, including nine health workers and eight children.
The WHO official called upon those responsible to stop the violence, end attacks on health care, let the sick and wounded out, while allowing much-needed humanitarian aid to reach those in need.