10,000 Syrian children denied access to medical suppliesListen /
The Syrian government has blocked the distribution of medicine and other hygiene supplies to nearly 10,000 children living in the besieged town of Mouadamiya al-Sham in Rural Damascus, according to the UN Children's Fund UNICEF.
The town which is only 8 kilometres from Damascus has been under siege since August last year, and according to UNICEF, conditions in the town are extremely harsh and there have been cases of death by starvation among the population there.
Mouadamiya has a population of about 20,000 and UNICEF is among several UN aid agencies that managed to deliver food and other essential relief supplies to the besieged population this week.
Chris Tidey is UNICEF's spokesperson in Geneva.
"Children in the area have been out of school for the past two years. The primary concern of parents is getting their children back into the classroom. On child protection we do have anecdotal reports of child recruitment, but I cannot confirm any number as of now. On health, medical supplies are running out in the area. Many families informed UNICEF staff that they have not had essential medicines for months on end. Mothers were concerned that their children were not receiving regular immunization. Medical teams also expressed concern over fuel shortages, making it difficult to maintain the vaccine cold chain. Two mobile clinics from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) were permitted to join the convoy on Monday and Wednesday, providing approximately 800 people, including several hundred children, with much needed medical treatment."
He says a polio vaccination campaign is to be undertaken in conjunction with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.