Syria: a health war that describes absence
The article was first published in the New Zealand medical journal on the topic of “absent: describing the casualties of the health war in Syria”.
In our work, we rely on Numbers. The number of patients treated at the clinic; Number of children with pneumonia, diarrhoea or severe malnutrition; Number of patients admitted to hospital; The number of patients undergoing emergency surgery; The number of babies born; The number of children vaccinated and the number of people receiving counseling.
Numbers lead us to where we need to be. They tell us what makes people sick. They point out how difficult it is for some people to get access to health care. They tell us when and where we die. They drew a picture that we could describe, explained and planned the best way to respond to people’s health needs.
We can adjust medical interventions to treat more people, reduce the burden of disease and avoid death. The central tenant is a person who provides health care, alleviates pain, and provides comfort. It’s not just the patients who are directly in front of us, but the people around them. Numbers are important: without them, we can’t do our jobs effectively.
In war-torn Syria, patients are trapped in inaccessible areas. The real Numbers are unknown, but the picture we see is so bleak that the scale and scale of the emergency medical response seem unimaginable.
For more than six years, there has been a war in Syria, causing an unprecedented 4.8 million people to become refugees . The responsibility of taking care of this refugee mainly falls on the Syrian neighbors .
In Syria, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees has some overwhelming Numbers. It is reported that 13.5 million people directly need medical and humanitarian assistance. More than six million people have been displaced from their homes, and the displacement of the armed groups and militias has now been internally displaced. Almost 4.3 million people have been classified as “hard to reach” – from humanitarian euphemism used in community access to information is limited, therefore, the protection for the people, food, shelter, water, or the possibility of health care is extremely serious.
The effects of war are not limited to the front or the battlefield. Indiscriminate bombing of civilians, hospitals and cities caused catastrophic explosions, permanent disability and death. In areas that have been indirectly affected by the Syrian crisis over the past six years, the war has been insidious to every clinic, hospital bed, health station and clinic.
Doctors without borders is trying to maintain action throughout the country during the conflict.
We are unable to obtain authorization despite repeated requests for work in government control areas. Therefore, we can only provide direct assistance and deployment groups within the opposition territory and can mainly account for what we see in these areas.
These medical programs are not classical in our definition. As the fighting approached, they were forced to start and stop. They have been relocated after the hospital was damaged by mortar and mortar damage or people were forced to flee.
These programs and hospitals have been operating under impossible conditions, with new employees, new systems and rapidly changing security management. Unpredictable border controls are changing every week, leading to sharp fluctuations in the supply of medicines and supplies. Providing meaningful medical care in such an environment is not easy.
In the most practical case, there are not enough doctors, nurses or midwives in northern Syria. Most have fled, many have died, and future health workers have been disrupted. Inadequate sanitation in primary schools, secondary schools or higher education. There is not enough medical supplies to cross the international border.
With regard to the health of the population, we see a slow decline in the returns of children’s health outcomes shown in pre-war Syria. Vaccination rates at historically low levels – medecins sans frontieres (MSF) in children in northern Syria’s survey, only seventeen percent of children before the age of five accept full children’s immunization program.
We know that the Syrian children still not accept pneumococcal vaccine, which will greatly reduce the incidence of pediatric pneumococcal pneumonia infection, antibiotics, clinic and hospital care an important prevention strategies of the conflict of environment.
We have witnessed frequent outbreaks of polio, measles and typhoid outbreaks across the country, resulting in serious diseases and preventable deaths. We see that by congenital anomaly or common pediatric problem children born in the conflict, because the service and professional care they need no longer exist or cannot be close to die or not been found.
Women have too little access to effective reproductive health services. It was so low that almost no women had regular prenatal care. Labor women were forced to deliver at home because the delivery service was gone.
There is evidence that provide emergency obstetric surgery a few functional medical institutions, the number of women significantly increase lead to sharp increase in the number of women without selective cesarean delivery, cause huge economic costs and unnecessary risk, rather than the risk of giving medicine in the home.
Because of the lack of support and the education plan, the cost of the formula exceeds the affordability of the family, and the practice of infant feeding is poor, and all areas are evidence of the deterioration of infant nutrition.
Lack of sanitation means less symptoms of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, thalassaemia, epilepsy and asthma. The long-term progress of these patients, life expectancy and the catastrophic burden of future health systems remain to be seen.
Many people suffer from trauma, sadness, loss, depression and anxiety, and few seek care. Many mothers tell us that their children are angry or shrink back, or have been reinstated. Husbands and wives struggle more than ever. Hope is waning, people are still uncertain, and fearful of the future.
For six years, the war has deprived the Syrian people of their right to health. Bad political and diplomatic which failed the war continued relentlessly to continue and sealed off the border, deprived of the rights of the Syrian people terrorism, to prevent such medical humanitarian group doctors without borders contact and support those who need them most.
MSF doesn’t have all the Numbers. We just see the pain and death that are in front of us. Unless the war stops, more individuals and families will continue to suffer. There is so much more to live: the collective we need to do more, not only to stop the war, but to help those who are suffering.