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Syrian Arab Republic: WHO helps restore primary health care services in Aleppo

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11 October 2018, Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic – Thanks to a generous contribution from the Government of Japan, WHO has supported the rehabilitation of two primary health care centres in east and northwest Aleppo. The two health centres were heavily affected by intensified fighting and were forced to close in 2013, depriving thousands of local residents of basic health care services.

The Khaled Ben Al-Walid Health Centre in Al-Khalidiya district in northwest Aleppo and Al-Ma’asaraniyeh Health Centre in Al-Ma’asaraniyeh district in east Aleppo are reopening at a crucial time. People who fled east Aleppo at the height of the conflict are currently returning to their homes, and the demand for health care is steadily increasing.

Around 20 000 residents in Al-Khalidiya, 7000 in Al-Ma’asaraniyeh, and thousands more internally displaced persons will benefit from comprehensive, free-of-charge, community-based health care provided by the two centres. The centres will ensure a wide spectrum of services ranging from prevention (for example, vaccinations) to the management of chronic health conditions and palliative care.

Ms Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria, thanked the Government of Japan at the opening ceremony in Aleppo for its strong support and generous donation. “Around half of Syria’s health care facilities remain closed. WHO is working with national authorities to restore health care facilities throughout the country, focusing on the crucial primary health care centres that will address life-long health needs of most individuals. Contributions from donors such as Japan are vital to help WHO meet its goal of ensuring that all Syrians have access to health care.”

WHO issued an appeal for over US$141 million for its health work in Syria in 2018, but thus far has received less than 30% of the funds required.