Syrian Arab Republic | News | WHO condemns recent attack on a health facility in Deir ez-Zor

WHO condemns recent attack on a health facility in Deir ez-Zor

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17 March 2015, Damascus - WHO expresses deep concern over damages to health facilities due to conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic and the far reaching implications on all Syrians, especially those in dire need of medical attention. The most recent incident earlier this month was at Aisha Hospital in Alboukamal city, Dier ez-Zor governorate, which resulted in the death of two women and three newborns who were in incubators at the time of the strike. Critical hospital equipment was also destroyed including incubators, electrocardiography machines and the laboratory.

Out of the 7 public hospitals and 103 health centres in Deir ez-Zor, only one hospital and eight health centres are currently fully functional. There are only 27 female doctors and 339 male doctors for 794 000 people in need.

“At a time when the few health facilities are overwhelmed with patients, it is important that their functionality be protected and health workers and humanitarian aiders allowed to provide required health services and humanitarian aid” says Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative to Syria. Hoff laments that over 50% of hospitals in the Syrian Arab Republic have ceased to function due to damages arising from the conflict.

The WHO Representative reiterated the obligations under the international humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions for the protection of civilians, health facilities and health professionals during conflict. “Health facilities must be treated as neutral premises and never exploited for military purposes. It is in the interest of all parties involved in the conflict to preserve the neutrality and functionality of health infrastructures, personnel and civilians”, she stressed.

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)

24 422

Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure)


Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births)


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


Total life expectancy at birth (years)


Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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