WHO: ”74 medical centers suspend work in Northern Syria since December 2019”
Turkey - SMART
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that 74 medical centers have suspended work since December 2019 in the Aleppo and Idlib governorates, Northern Syria, due to the Syrian government forces and Russian military campaign.
In a statement, the WHO reported that the centers’ suspension directly affected civilians’ receiving medical care; however, children are more vulnerable to hypothermia and respiratory inflammations. The statement added that due to the lack of shelters, many children sleep outside with their families, thus they are vulnerable to illness, according to the United Nations website.
The WHO said that one out of each three vaccination centers in Northwestern Syria stopped working either temporarily or permanently due to escalated violence and displacement; however, the WHO will launch a polio vaccination campaign in March 2020.
On Feb. 17, 2020, the WHO revealed that two separate attacks targeted two hospitals. The Kinanah Hospital in the city of Darat Izzah in Aleppo stopped working. It was providing services for 50,000 people, and 10,000 medical consultations per month.
The WHO noted that the Fardous Maternity and Pediatric Hospital was slightly damaged, thus the attacks on medical facilities have reached six in Northwestern Syria. The attacks killed ten people and injured 30 others, and deprived civilians from medical services.
The WHO emphasized that in the next days, it will send medicine and necessary medical equipment to Syria through Turkish border to treat traumas and provide surgical care in Aleppo and Idlib. The WHO will provide medicine to treat non-contagious illnesses, and first aid for patients.
Earlier on Tuesday, the UN documented that 900,000 people have fled Northern Syria since December 2019. The UN added that the Syrian government forces shell refugee camps directly, killing and injuring forcibly displaced people.
The Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, supported by Russia, are launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib and the southern and western countryside of Aleppo. The Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after intense shelling. The shelling killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.
This attack is considered a continuation of the military operation launched by the Syrian government forces and Russia on Idlib on Apr. 25, 2019. During the military operation, the Syrian government forces gained total control of the northern countryside of Hama and the area of Khan Sheikhun. Military analysts and journalists said that by this military operation, the Syrian government aims to gain control of the Aleppo-Damascus international highway that connects Turkey to Jordan and the Arab Gulf States in order to reopen it later under Russian and Turkish sponsorship agreed upon by the two countries.