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Free Hama Health Directorate: "Suspension of support threatens about 200 thousand beneficiaries of medical services"

Editing: Ayham Nasif |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Rose Kajo
Publication date: 2019/01/20 17:24

Hama - SMART

On Sunday, the Free Hama Health Directorate said that 200 thousand civilians, one third of them children, in northern and western Hama, Central Syria, suffer from the lack of medical services after donor organizations suspended their support of health projects in Northern Syria.

The directorate's communications manager Ibrahim al-Shamali told SMART that the decision to suspend the support was implemented in the beginning of January. The decision included the directorate, its medical and administrative staff, and the medical facilities linked to it, which includes four health centers, two specialized hospitals and a blood bank.

Al-Shamali noted that the directorate's health facilities are currently operating on a voluntary basis, while searching for alternative funding for support services, operational expenses and medical staff salaries.

Al-Shamali noted that the strategic stockpile of medicine in medical facilities is only enough for three months due to large consumption. Al-Shamali added that they will follow a new plan to regulate the prescription of medicine.

The directorate appealed to the concerned authorities to withdraw from the decision to suspend support, stressing that it is a neutral humanitarian institution that has nothing to do with the political and military interactions on the ground, and it provides free medical services to citizens.

The director of the Kastoun Primary Health Care Center Dr. Abd al-Hamid Mostafa said that the center is part of the Free Hama Health Directorate and provides medical services to 15 villages of about 40,000 people. The center includes women's clinics, children's clinics, a free pharmacy, and a laboratory for leishmania and first aid.

Mostafa added that they continue to provide services for two or three months without getting paid, noting that the center has 20 employees including doctors, nurses and administrators.

Earlier, the Free Idlib Health Directorate in Northern Syria, said the decision of some donor organizations to suspend support for health projects and free health directorates threatens about 80 thousand beneficiaries of medical services in the governorate. The Free Aleppo Health Directorate noted that about 250 thousand civilians will lose medical services as a result of the cessation of support for 43 health facilities in western and southern Aleppo.

On Tuesday, the German Technical Cooperation Agency suspended its support of medical projects and the Free Health Directorates in Aleppo, Hama, and Idlib until further notice.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) clashed in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama, resulting in the suspension of the work of civil institutions, schools, universities, police stations and traffic. After the clashes, the HTS and the FSA reached an agreement and the HTS took military and administrative control of the region.