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Ongoing Conflict Aggravating Health Of Syrians, WHO Warns

The WHO on Tuesday “warned that the ongoing conflict in Syria, which will soon enter its third year, will lead to a sharp spike in the number of people needing urgent aid, including food, clean water and vital medical services,” the U.N. News Centre reports (2/5). “Further aggravating the health of Syrians, the organization said, is a breakdown in the delivery of safe water throughout the country; the closing of at least one-third of Syria’s public hospitals; an exodus of doctors; and an acute shortage of ambulances, many of them damaged by fighting or impounded by the military or insurgent forces for use in combat,” according to the New York Times (Cumming-Bruce/Gladstone, 2/5).

“The Health Ministry has run out of trauma treatments made in factories in rebel areas to help the increasing numbers of burn victims and wounded civilians in intensive care units, [the WHO] said,” Reuters adds (Nebehay, 2/5). “Outbreaks of hepatitis A and other diseases spread by poor hygiene are now becoming problems among Syrians displaced by the civil war,” the agency added, according to the New York Times (2/5). “The international community has pledged more than $1.5 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict in Syria, both inside the country and for those who have fled to neighboring countries,” the U.N. News Centre notes (2/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.