Medicine crisis hit Syria

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Medicine smuggled into Syria. File photo

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria- Following the intensive clashes between the Syrian regime and the armed opposition, especially in the provinces of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus, most of the medicinal factories were either completely destroyed or massively damaged.

Speaking to ARA News in Syrian northeastern city of Qamishli, pharmacist Saud Khalid said: “Medicinal factories were stolen, damaged or bombarded, which led to a lack of medicine in the majority of Syrian cities.”

“Brigandage and confiscation of all kinds of goods, from food items to medicine, on the roads linking among Syrian provinces led to this crisis” Khalid said.

The pharmacist also pointed out that most of the medicine used to be available in Syrian pharmacies was locally manufactured, cheap and of high quality.

“However, due to war, Syrian medicine became unavailable in border areas. The alternative was smuggled medicine,” Khalid told ARA News.

According to observers, the smuggled medicine into Syria is unobserved. Hence, it is dangerous and negatively affecting patients’ health.

Pharmacist Ryad Ali confirmed to ARA News the risks of resorting to foreign smuggled medicine instead of regular and monitored, imported medicine.

“One of the pharmacists bought a big amount of antipyretics for children but they were expired,” Ali said.

Ali also talked about medicine monopoly and high prices, saying: “Some opportunists monopolize drugs and other medical supplies, and raise the prices.”

“Pharmacists who have good quality local medicine manipulate the prices as the Syrian Health Ministry no longer monitors them,” he told ARA News.

Based on one of the nurses of the National Hospital of Qamishli, hospitals also lack medicine, sterilizers, antibiotics and children vaccinations.

Speaking to ARA News, Hewa Huzan, a nurse in Qamishli’s National Hospital, said: “Lack of medicine is so dangerous and affects the hospital’s efficiency and readiness to receive patients and emergency cases.”

Lack of monitoring and holding accountable badly affect the health system in Syria. “Lying down rural and opposition-held areas by the Health Ministry worsens the situation,” some workers in the health sector said.

 

Reporting by: Rodi Ahmad

Source: ARA News

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