Health Sector Syria - Health Sector Bulletin - September 2020

Situation Report
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  • As of 30 September 2020, the Ministry of Health reported COVID-19 cases in Syria has reached 4200, including 200 deaths*. The first confirmed case was declared on 22 March and first death on 29 March.

  • The Ministry of Education in collaboration with WHO conducted five workshops geared towards training 155-school health doctors from Damascus, Aleppo, Tartous and Hama.

  • Health sector continues to bolster PPE supplies in Syria, with a focus on protecting health workers. To date, WHO has delivered more than six million PPE items while health partners has delivered more than four million PPEs.

  • UNICEF supported two TOTs for 50 participants from nursing schools on infection control and prevention (IPC) for COVID-19 and rational use of PPEs in Damascus.

  • Medair has rehabilitated and equipped six health facilities and one COVID-19 isolation center in Aleppo, Idleb, Deie –ez –Zor and Quneitra governorates.

*Currently there are 5180 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 254 associated deaths as of 21 October, 2020

Situation update

As the Syria crisis enters its tenth year, the scale, severity and complexity of humanitarian needs remain extensive. This is the result of continued hostilities in localized areas, new and protracted displacement, spontaneous returns and the sustained erosion of communities’ resilience during more than nine years of crisis. Syria is still one of the biggest and most complex crises globally. The Syrian crisis created more than six million refugees and displaced a further 6 million Syrians inside their own country.

Health needs in Syria are already significant. Thousands of children are suffering from severe malnutrition. Thousands of more people suffer from cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions for which treatment is limited.

50% of hospitals were reported fully functioning, 25% hospitals were reported partially functioning (i.e., shortage of staff, equipment, medicines or damage of the building in some cases), while 25% were reported non-functioning. 47% of public health centres were reported fully functioning, 22% partially functioning, and 31% non-functioning (completely out of service).

More than 12 million people (out of the total estimated population of 20 million) are in need of health care services in 2020. 70% of the sub-districts (188 out of 268) have most severe health needs and severity score of 3 and above.

COVID-19 has aggravated the situation further. In September, health authorities announced 1435 confirmed COVID-19 cases as compared to 1954 in August, 320 in July, 157 confirmed cases in June and 79 confirmed cases in May 2020. All indicators point out that the disease is spreading rapidly across the communities in the country.

The aid agencies continue to ramp up efforts to suppress the transmission of the virus through risk communication and community engagement; procurement and distribution of medical supplies and equipment; by supporting COVID-19 clinical readiness; and safeguarding the public health care system.

Rukban returnees: The total number of people who left Rukban transiting through Homs shelters is 19,769 people, of whom 329 people left Rukban supported by UN/SARC. On 4 October, 193 people (53 male, 53 females, 57 children and 30 infants) out of 286 who were arrived in Homs on 19 September and hosted in Mahomud Othman shelter in Al Qusour neighborhood, left the shelter. As of 5 October, 93 people (42 males, 20 females, 24 children and 7 infants) are still in the shelter.