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Syria’s Health Sector Most Targeted by Caesar Act - Depriving Syrians of Medication and Treatment

The so-called US Caesar Act constitutes a new chapter of aggression against the Syrian people by targeting the vital agricultural, industrial and economic sectors. It may perhaps have the greatest negative impact on the health sector, especially in light of the Corona virus spread in the world. While efforts of the countries of the world are concerted to address it, the Syrians have been intentionally deprived of medication and medical treatment requirements.

Al-Razi Hospital in Aleppo is one of the most important hospitals that has continued to provide free medical treatment services to citizens during the terrorist war in Aleppo. Al-Razi director, Dr. Maan Duba, says that implementation of this US legislation has severely affected the Syrian people in the first place, noting ‘we face challenges with signing new contracts to request equipment, maintenance and therapeutic drugs.’

 

Further to that, according to Dr. Duba, some equipment in the hospital laboratory are out of service because spare parts and other requirements are no longer being imported.

The hospital pharmacy, Dr. Duba goes on to say, has already started to suffer from a shortage of imported medicines, especially antibiotics, because some foreign companies withdrew their licenses which they had granted to Syrian drug factories as a result of the aforementioned Act.

According to head of General Surgery Department at al-Razi Hospital Dr. Sa’dallah Kayali, ‘the unilateral, coercive economic measures, imposed on the Syrian people, have created  great difficulty in securing medical and therapeutic materials and equipment, given that some foreign companies, contracted to import such materials, halted their supply.’

Dr. Kayali adds that the Ministry of Health has provided therapeutic drugs to hospitals from friendly countries and things are balanced so far, but the consequences of this Act are yet to unfold. Kayali concludes, ‘despite expected negative repercussions, the Syrian people who have managed to withstand during the crisis of the terrorist war shall overcome this ordeal as well.’

According to technician Sharif Kayali at Imaging and Radiology Department, ‘work on Multi-slice CT Scanner Department, that served more than 40 patients per day, has stopped because of inability to repair the malfunction in the device, given that spare parts are imported from foreign manufacturer companies that have, under the imposed sanctions, suspended exports to Syria.’

Head of General Nursing at al-Razi Hospital, Waddah Hamdak, points out that some of the medical devices in the hospital are out of service due to suspension of maintenance contracts, as under the so-called Caesar Act the contracting companies halted supplying spare parts and maintenance. There is a shortage of some drugs and medical materials related to chronic diseases needed daily by patients, in addition to lack of surgery supplements such as plates, screws and bone joints, resulting in the cancellation of some surgeries.

According to Lab Head, technician Ahmed Trab, ‘the materials used in the laboratory to carry out the necessary analyzes for the patients are imported from abroad, but today there is a great difficulty in securing them due to failure of external companies to supply them.’

According to Dr. Allam Saeed Mohammed, at Jaw and Dental Surgery Department, ‘The Caesar Act" is practically a continuation of the harsh measures against the Syrian people applied for more than nine years, which have grave repercussions in the medical work. We require plates to fix fractures but unfortunately their prices are currently going up significantly, not to mention that they no longer exist in the market, in addition to a shortage of some raw materials related to jaw surgery.’

 

Rayan Faouri

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