WHO Urges Early Warning System For Diseases In Syria

Category: World / Mar 11, 2013 2:36PM EDT
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday (March 11) that there are currently no reported disease epidemics in Syria, but urged the Health Ministry to step up its efforts for an early warning system and disease control measures. According to WHO, Syria is suffering from severe shortages of drugs and medicines. Many of the main drug-makers in the war-torn country have closed down, leading to a great reduction in the availability of medicines for the rising number of casualties and those with chronic conditions. Despite an outbreak of typhoid last month, due to people drinking contaminated water from a nearby River, WHO said that there is not yet an epidemic. The WHO representative in Syria spoke at a session held by the Syrian Health Ministry, WHO and UNICEF to step up a vaccination campaign around the country. Before the two-year revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, Syria produced 90 percent of its medicines and drugs. But production has been hit by the fighting, lack of raw materials, the impact of sanctions and higher fuel costs, the World Health organisation (WHO) said in December. Ninety percent of Syria's pharmaceutical plants are located in rural Aleppo, Homs and Damascus provinces and they have suffered substantial damage from the fighting. Many pharmacies now only supply limited goods such as over-the-counter pain killers and basic first aid. Video Source: Reuters