World docs appeal UN to help Syrians in need

A group of around 50 doctors and medical professionals from across the globe called for the UN to provide more support to medical personnel caring for Syrians in need, warning that the country’s health systems are at “breaking point”, urging Syrian authorities to immediately lift restrictions that are preventing doctors and medicines from reaching patients.
In an open letter, published in the Lancet just ahead of this month’s United Nations General Assembly, the high-profile group of signatories — which includes several Nobel prize winners, and a former director-general of the World Health Organisation, from countries including India, UK, US, Russia and Turkey — write that they are “horrified” by the scale of the emergency in Syria, calling it “arguably one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises since the end of the Cold War.”
The signatories highlighted the acute shortage of medical personnel, supplies, and facilities afflicting the people of Syria after more than two years of conflict, with over half of Syria’s hospitals destroyed or damaged, and thousands of health workers either imprisoned, or fleeing abroad.
“As doctors and health professionals we urgently demand that medical colleagues in Syria be allowed and supported to treat patients, save lives, and alleviate suffering without the fear of attacks or reprisals,” the authors wrote.
An estimated 100,000 people have been killed, most of them civilians, and many more have been wounded, tortured, or abused. As per their letter, millions have been driven from their homes, families have been divided, and entire communities torn apart.
According to them, 37 per cent of Syrian hospitals have been destroyed and a further 20 per cent severely damaged. Makeshift clinics have become trauma centres struggling to cope with the injured and sick.
According to the Violations Documentation Centre, an estimated 469 health workers are currently imprisoned, and about 15,000 doctors have been forced to flee abroad according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

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