Syrian health sector suffers from US sanctions: Minister

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Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Anshima Gupta

Damascus, Feb 10 (IANS) Syria’s Health Minister has said that the Syrian health sector is reeling under pressure from the US sanctions.

Speaking at a press conference, Hassan al-Ghabbash on Thursday stressed that the suffering of the Syrian medical sector is not a result of the recent massive earthquake that hit the country on Monday but rather the Western sanctions imposed on Syria for 12 years.

He also stated that the death toll from the earthquake rose to 1,347 and the injuries to 2,295, Xinhua news agency reported.

Al-Ghabbash stressed that from the first moments of the earthquake, the Syrian Health Ministry’s emergency room was mobilised to coordinate the response and send ambulances, mobile clinics, and supply trucks to the most affected provinces.

The hospitals and health centres are working at their maximum capacity to provide medical services, he said, adding that one of the most important priorities and challenges is to continue to provide health services in shelters and prepare for any emergency.

“We are determined to provide services to Syrian citizens despite all the circumstances and challenges, and the Syrian state has largely succeeded,” he said.

Al-Ghabbash added that the shortfall caused by Western sanctions would be made up through the concerted efforts of private sector institutions, trade unions, non-governmental organisations and civil society.

The Minister called on the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organisations to provide assistance to Syria to deal with the disaster.

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