Syria health system "broken down"

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Photo: WHO Syria

Insecurity and a "very broken down" health system are affecting the delivery of medical care to millions of Syrians, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

WHO says nearly 60 per cent of the country's 113 hospitals have been closed or destroyed.

The Syrian conflict is approaching its fifth year, with more than 250,000 people killed and over half of the population have been forced to leave their homes.

Dianne Penn reports.

Syria once had the strongest health indicators in the Arab World, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

But operating there now is "almost an impossible situation," according to the agency's representative in the country.

Elizabeth Hoff reports that 3.5 million Syrians are living in hard to reach areas, while some 1.7 million people are living in territory under the control of the terrorist group ISIL.

"In Syria today I must that say we have a very broken down health system. Sixty per cent of the public hospitals are either partially functioning or closed. As we are moving into the winter, there are serious issues particularly related to electricity and water supplies. When it gets colder, this will deteriorate because very few of the hospitals and most of the health centres do not have functioning generators. And when they do have generators, they don't have easy access to fuel."

In anticipation of the colder weather, WHO is working to provide influenza vaccines for children and the elderly.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'14"

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