Health Cluster Weekly Situation Report: Whole of Syria, Week 48 (24 - 30 November 2017)

Situation Report
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General developments & political & security situation

  • Daily shelling continued to be reported on several areas in East Ghouta, including Duma, Jobar, Zamalka, Ain Tarma, Saqba, Nashabieh, Beit Sawa, Hazzeh, Mistraba and Beit Naiem.

  • The Russian Centre for Reconciliation urges all opposing sides to declare November 28 and 29 as ‘days of silence’ in de-escalation zone No. 3 in Jobar, Eastern Ghouta to avoid any ceasefire violations. All these measures will reduce tensions in de-escalation zone No.3 (Eastern Ghouta) and its vicinity.

  • 200 tons of relief materials provided by the Syria Trust for Development arrived in Deir-ez-Zoir.

  • Aleppo Pharmacists Syndicate dispatched medications assistance to Deir-ez-Zoir.

  • Ministry of Health preparing to launch the national “neonatal home-based care program” in 2018, with UNICEF and WHO support, making Syria first in the region to implement it. The program was implemented experimentally in 2017, in 6 hospitals in 3 governorates, through coordination between the selected hospitals, WHO, and UNICEF. The neonatal care in Syria is currently based on: re-activating neonatal recovery program (launched in Syria in 20005), launching home care program, and implementing maternal and child health strategy. The neonatal care program at home is being prepared for launch in 2018 in Syria.

  • Foreign Ministry: the Syrian Government welcomes the National Dialogue Conference in Sochi, and declares its consent to attend.

  • Minister of National Reconciliation confirmed that relationship with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was almost nonexistent, and if SDF was to undermine Syrian unity, all response options would be open.

  • Two US officials acknowledge presence of some 2,000 US troops in Syria for, allegedly fighting terrorism.

  • Following a reduction in displacement movement from Deir-ez-Zor governorate, fewer arrivals have been registered at the Al-Malha and Abu Kashab makeshift IDP screening sites. In the case of Al-Malha, arrival numbers are down from 300 families per day to 30 families per day. Despite the reduced caseload, IDPs continue to endure long waiting times in dire humanitarian conditions at the Al-Malha screening site. The drop in temperatures due to the approaching winter season has further exacerbated the situation of civilians on site. The Al-Malha screening point is located 70 km north of Deir-ez-Zor city and serves, alongside Abu Kashab, as one of the primary IDP screening sites.

  • As of 20 November, the total number of returnees to the newly accessible neighborhoods in Aleppo city stands at 300,424 individuals, of whom 24,147 reside in the eight neighborhoods under Kurdish control. SARC and four local NGOs are working on the ground to respond to relief needs. Additionally, all UN partners continue to respond to the humanitarian needs of the returnees under the Aleppo micro-plan.

  • Clashes between NSAGs and Syrian Government forces continued in the Al-Hamra sub-district of Hama governorate. Aerial shelling on several villages (Rabdah, Alhazem, Kaser Shawi, Kaser Ali, Arafah, Blel and Doma), resulted in the internal displacement of an estimated 25,000 people to areas within the sub-district, while another 11,000 individuals went to Idleb governorate. OCHA received unconfirmed reports that at least 70 civilians were killed due to the shelling on the area.

  • The Needs and Population Monitoring (NPM) Programme and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) released the second Rapid Assessment on Mine Action in Syria (RAMA) report. The 2017 RAMA survey covered 6,024 communities, representing 100% coverage of Syria. Some of the key findings of the report are the following:

  • 2.2 million people are living in communities reporting explosive hazards; 1.3 million people are living in communities reporting explosive hazard causalities over the past six months; 33% of Syria’s sub-districts are reportedly contaminated by explosive hazards; 72% of Syria’s contaminated locations are in either Aleppo or Ar-Raqqa. In Aleppo the contaminated communities are home to 2 million people.