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Humanitarian Agencies Need Unhindered Access Within Syria

In Syria, it is “abundantly clear that political conflict is severely impacting public health,” Abdelhadi Eltahir, senior health coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “Government-supported clinics closed down months [ago], meaning the most at-risk population of mothers, babies and the elderly have nowhere to turn after two years of civil war,” and “health facilities have been destroyed by fighting or abandoned by doctors, midwives, nurses and other health providers who have fled the country,” he writes. “But we are making progress,” he adds, noting, “The IRC has already served close to 30,000 patients this year. In that time, we’ve inoculated more than 2,100 children against polio,” which has been confirmed in the country. “The humanitarian community must immediately be provided open access across borders and within Syria itself. Without that, preventable malnutrition, illness and disease will only worsen during the long winter ahead,” Eltahir concludes (11/7).