PROTECTION THROUGH EMERGENCY HEALTH CARE
The surge of internally displaced Syrians arriving into urban areas including Damascus has resulted in tremendous pressure on health care facilities which are gravely stretched. Pressure is on due to rapidly mounting needs as well as from the lack of medical equipment, much of which is now old with limited access to spare parts due to international sanctions. The Health sector also suffers from escalated costs of medical supplies and from medicine shortages in addition to the impact of the depreciated Syrian pound and decreased purchasing power of Syrian civilians. UNHCR procured 20 items of medical equipment which were donated to the Ministry of Health on 6 March in an event which took place at the Eyes Surgical Hospital in Damascus. The equipment included, among others, much needed equipment such as an anesthesia machine, a cardiac echo doppler, and operating room tables. These will be installed in public hospitals in Damascus and Al-Hassakeh. Four ventilators were also delivered to Al Muasat university hospital, the main emergency training hospital in Damascus, and two ventilators to Al Muasat charity hospital in Damascus. Ventilators which will be installed in intensive care units will help save lives through the provision of this critical service for free or for minimal charges to patients in urgent need. As part of UNHCR’s plan to deliver essential medicines to those suffering from acute and chronic diseases, two shipments of drugs for hospitals and emergency use (cost $1,418,241) have arrived at Lattakia port. Other shipments are expected to arrive in coming weeks. All the above lifesaving health care needs have been identified in coordination with Sector partners including the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The total value of the medical equipment and drugs is $4.9 million.