WHO delivers health supplies by road to northeast Syria

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For the first time in 2 years, WHO has been able to deliver medical supplies by road to northeast Syria © WHO

1 June 2020 — The World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered 20 tons of medical supplies to Al-Qamishli in northeast Syria, the second delivery of its kind in 2 weeks. The supplies will be distributed to public health facilities in Al-Hasakeh, Ar-Raqqa and Deir-Ez-Zor governorates.

The 2 shipments contain equipment and medical supplies to treat many diseases, including COVID-19. The delivery also included basic and mobile X-ray machines, intensive care beds and hospital beds, operating tables, incubators, oxygen concentrator, cholera kits, wheelchairs and a diesel generator.

“During the last 2 weeks, WHO delivered over 55 tons of medical supplies by road. These were the first road deliveries to Al-Hasakeh governorate in northeast Syria in the past 2 years,” said Dr Akjemal Magtymova, WHO Representative in Syria.

“These are challenging times when the focus of the global public health community is on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she continued. “While joining global and national efforts to fight the pandemic, WHO also continues to support basic health services and serve at-risk communities in the northeast, as well as across Syria.”

Due to the Syrian conflict, road shipments have been halted since May 2018. Airlifting relief shipments was the alternative, sometimes costing as much as 20 times the road shipments.

“The road shipments delivered this month represent progress which should be applauded,” says Dr Magtymova. “WHO remains committed to delivering the most essential medical supplies to vulnerable and in-need communities.”

The medical supplies were procured using generous contributions from the Government of Norway and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).