Humanitarian Health Action

WHO helps bring medical supplies to besieged Syrian town of Douma for first time in 18 months

B. Khabieh

WHO has helped to bring life-saving medicines and medical supplies to thousands of people in the besieged Syrian town of Douma for the first time in 18 months.

Two WHO trucks loaded with urgently needed supplies to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the local health authorities reached the town in the East Ghouta area on Saturday as part of a UN inter-agency convoy.

It was the first time medical help had reached Douma since the siege of the area began in November 2012.

WHO officials were part of the convoy and spoke to doctors there, including surgeons who are having to perform operations under extremely difficult circumstances.

An estimated 22 600 people of Douma’s 50 000-strong population need medical assistance, including urgent surgical care and life-saving treatments

The East Ghouta area in Rural Damascus governorate has just seven functioning hospitals for a population of one million, with three hospitals only partly operational and another three destroyed.

Across Rural Damascus governorate as a whole, there is only one operational public hospital for every 567 200 people.

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