UNHCR health services for Syrian refugees overstretched

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Syrian refugee children play beside tents in Domiz refugee camp. (Photo: UNHCR/B.Sokol)

The Syrian refugee crisis is increasingly straining health services in the surrounding countries, according to a study conducted by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

With more than one million Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, health care services in these countries are finding it difficult to cope with the growing number of refugees seeking medical attention.

UNHCR says the problem has been compounded by the limited ability of aid agencies to provide adequate health care for the refugees due to limited funding.

The report says refugees with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases are not receiving adequate care and treatment, especially if they reside outside designated refugee camps.

Adrian Edwards is the Spokesperson for UNHCR.

"We continue, with our partners, to provide medical care for refugees in the camps in Jordan and Iraq. But for those refugees who live outside of camps, often in urban settings, the situation is more difficult. In Jordan and Iraq, healthcare costs for refugees are covered by governments, UNHCR and many other organizations; but  expensive referral care, such as renal dialysis, orthopedic surgery and cancer treatment is becoming much more difficult. In Lebanon, which has a largely privatized health care system and cost sharing is the norm, resource shortages mean we and our partner agencies are faced with having to reduce support for both primary and more costly referral health care."

UNHCR says the number of Syrian refugees registered in the region has reached 1.4 million.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.37″

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