WHO official details deteriorating health situation in Syria

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Displaced Syrian family

The health situation in Syria has progressively worsened with more than half of the country's public hospitals and 78 per cent of ambulances damaged due to the ongoing conflict.

That assessment comes from Elizabeth Hoff, World Health Organization (WHO) representative for Syria, who on Tuesday spoke by phone from the capital, Damascus, to reporters in Geneva.

The WHO official reports that there has been a rise in suspected cases of Hepatitis A in Syria, particularly among internally displaced people (IDPs).

Hepatitis A affects the liver, and she says this increase is "very much linked" to water and sanitation conditions in the country.

"WHO is now procuring 300,000 doses of Hepatitis A vaccines and this will be administered to the IDP shelters where the problem is the biggest, with public sanitation structures broken down, overcrowding, public water being rationed and this is then also conducive and creating a conducive environment for diseases because of the unhygienic conditions." (31 secs)

Hoff says there is a critical shortage of medicine in Syria and that it is difficult to deliver supplies and equipment to areas around the country.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'24"

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