Syrian Arab Republic


Kuwait supports kidney patients in Syria

24 May 2016 – Without regular haemodialysis sessions and life-saving medicines, 11-year-old Abdullah from Aleppo could die of kidney failure or suffer life-threatening complications. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Kuwaiti Government, Abdullah has continued to receive haemodialysis 3 times a week. 

Patients with kidney disease are particularly vulnerable in conflict settings, when their care may be severely compromised. “Our family has suffered hugely,” said Abdullah’s mother. “Last year we were displaced 4 times. Yet Abdullah needs 3 haemodialysis sessions a week to keep him alive.”  

Dialysis-dependent patients in Syria face many obstacles to staying alive, including a lack of haemodialysis equipment, shortages of skilled medical personnel and electricity cuts in dialysis centres. "Sometimes, when one dialysis centre cannot admit Abdullah, we have to travel long distances to Hama and sometimes as far away as Turkey,” explained Abdullah’s mother. “It is a long, expensive and risky journey.”  

The Al-Ihasan NGO haemodialysis centre in East Aleppo is now taking care of Abdullah, using dialysis machines and life-saving medicines donated by WHO. “We greatly appreciate WHO's support”, said a doctor at the centre. “With a regular supply of medicines, we can continue to provide essential dialysis sessions and save lives.”  

Using funds from the Government of Kuwait, WHO has supported a total of 35 100 haemodialysis sessions and donated 5 dialysis machines for patients with kidney disease across Syria. “Thanks to the Government of Kuwait, Abdullah and many others like him are continuing to receive the dialysis care they need to stay alive”, said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO’s Representative in Syria. “Kuwait’s contribution has also allowed WHO to procure many other life-saving medicines and equipment and donate them to health care facilities across Syria, including besieged and hard-to-reach areas.”  

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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)

22 712

Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure)

5.3

Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births)

68

Primary health care centres and units (per 10 000 population)

0.9

Total life expectancy at birth (years)

76.0

Source: Country statistical profiles 2015
See Syrian Arab Republic country profile
Regional Health Observatory

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