Syrian Arab Republic | News | WHO delivers over 17 tons of life-saving medicines and medical equipment to the newly accessible city of Douma

WHO delivers over 17 tons of life-saving medicines and medical equipment to the newly accessible city of Douma

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WHO shipment reaching Douma in east Ghouta. Offloading WHO medical shipment in Douma. A WHO shipment reaches Douma in east Ghouta and is offloaded7 July 2018 – On 1 July 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered over 17 tons of life-saving medicines and medical equipment to the newly accessible city of Douma in eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus.

The WHO supplies, dispatched as part of an inter-agency humanitarian convoy, are sufficient for more than 26 000 treatments for ill and wounded patients, and will be distributed to health care facilities supported by the Directorate of Health and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. They include essential and chronic disease medicines, nutritional supplements, trauma and burn kits, mobile and fixed X-ray and ultrasound machines, laboratory supplies and operating theatre and surgical equipment.

This is the second time that WHO has provided medicines and supplies to help meet urgent health needs in Douma. A first shipment was delivered on 15 March 2018. “These medical supplies are vitally important to support the clinics andhospitals that are treating patients who have suffered severe deprivation over the past few years as a result of the intense fighting in the area," said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria. “WHO is working with the Directorate of Health and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to assess the health status of people in eastern Ghouta and make sure that WHO is filling gaps and meeting needs,” she added.

A WHO team who recently visited eastern Ghouta with SARC medical staff and reported that unexploded ordnance remained a serious threat to families returning to their homes. According to a SARC doctor, a family of 4 was badly injured when a mine was detonated. Moreover, the debris of collapsed buildings poses a serious environmental health hazard. Douma has only 5 functioning health care facilities for a population of more than 23 000 families. Many citizens who have returned to Douma have found that their homes have been damaged or destroyed and that much of the town’s infrastructure, including health care services, have been severely damaged.

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)

22 712

Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure)

4.8

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)

64.5

Source: Country statistical profiles 2017

See Syrian Arab Republic country profile

Regional Health Observatory