Deirezzor Under Daesh: Health Crises, and the Return of Long Gone Epidemics

Oussama Aghi - The Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office

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“Health is the foundation of the human being”, it is also the foundation of human productive communities, as there will be no real production without healthy individuals and communities. A healthy society cannot exist unless there are certain conditions provided, including specialized human cadres, and medical institutions at a progressive and advanced level, and schools, universities and institutes that graduate trained individuals in the medical field.

Tapping into the health situation in Deirezzor, which is currently under the control of Daesh, the situation can be defined as catastrophic, without even minimum health conditions acknowledged by international health associations.

Deirezzor province, which was full of medical cadres, of physicians of difference specializations, and public and private hospitals, and medical clinics, today lacks the minimum health services.

In proportion to the province’s area, estimated at 33,000km square, one will only find not more than 10 field hopitals, with very simple ambulatory and surgical appratus. The shortage in medical cadres is result of most doctors fleeing the province because of the ongoing battles, and Daesh’s constant harrasment of the doctors and private hospitals.

This absence of the medical cadres has played a major role in the decline of medical services, and the health situation in the province. Add to that, the meager existence of health care because of the lack of experience of the medical cadres working in the hospitals and clinics, and it has been found that that most of the staff who work in the medical centers have not yet completed their medical university education, and their knowledge is more limited to first aid servies and some very simple surgical procedures.
Those two factors, and the shortage of advanced medical equipment that help diagnose diseases and injuries, will cause a decline in the health services, and will lead to the spread of diseases.

The lack of specialized scientific supervision on medicine in the province of Deirrezzor, and the lack of a supportive organization of expertise in this area makes medicine a danger on the lives of civilians.

Another problem is the lack of specialized medicine, such as cancer treatment drugs and viral hepatitis medication, which has been spreading in the eastern part of the province since before the revolution, and has increased after Daesh took control of the province. Furthermore, the scarcity in heart medications and other diseases has increased death rates in the province.

What is happening in the province of Deirezzor under the rule of Daesh may be called “vaccination chaos” , as there are not regular or organized dates for vaccination, according to international standards, in which the dose must be given at a specific age and time.

Also, those vaccination campaigns do not cover all children in the province, because of the lack of media coverage in many parts of the cities and villages of the province. This contributes to the unawareness of many parents in vaccinating their children.

Health services in Deirezzor before Daesh reached an acceptable level of medical and health services, and ended polio from the province because of awareness programs, vaccination and follow-up, which was provided by the United Nations in cooperation with the health authorities responsible in the province.

Currently, and with the absence of these entities from their role and the inability of Daesh to provide alternative medical services, and a general decline in all health services and low nutritional value of the meals of the population, we find that the symptoms of diseases previously eliminated have re-emerged, such as polio and viral hepatitis, and the emergence of new cases of tuberculosis.

These infectious diseases constitute the basis of possible pandemics that threaten the health security of the population of the province and increase the mortality rate among them.

The only solution would have to be a gradual return of public health institutions with medical expertise and equipment to get rid of this long-term deterioration in health.

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