Escalating violence continues to put strain on Syria’s health services, says WHO

Saturday, August 18, 2012
Richard Brennan addressing media persons in Geneva
[PHOTO: UNifeed]

Geneva: The escalating violence in Syria is continuing to put a strain on the country's health services, The World Health Organization (WHO) has said, and the destruction of the sanitation system in Damascus appears to be contaminating water supplies exacerbating health risks.

The Director of WHO's emergency risk management unit, Richard Brennan told journalists in Geneva that 38 hospitals and 149 clinics have been damaged or destroyed in the conflict, and the organization is redoubling its efforts in the face the growing public health concerns.

Meanwhile, the numbers of refugees fleeing the country continue to grow, particularly those crossing over to Turkey. In the past couple of days, 3500 people arrived in Turkey, a sharp increase on previous figures. This brings the number of registered Syrian refugees in Turkey to 65,000, the spokesman for the UN Refugee Agency said, though the actual number may be higher as not all are registered yet. Forty percent of these, Adrian Edwards added, have arrived during August.

The number of formally registered Syrian refugees who have fled to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, now totals 170,116. - UNifeed
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