Severe shortages of drugs, medicines in Syria: WHO
GENEVA (REUTERS) - Many of the main drugmakers in conflict-torn Syria have closed down, causing severe shortages of medicines for treating chronic diseases and a rising number of casualties, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Before the 17-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, Syria produced 90 per cent of its medicines and drugs, but production has been hit by the fighting, lack of raw materials, impact of sanctions and higher fuel costs, the United Nations (UN) agency said.
Ninety per cent of Syria's pharmaceutical plants are located in rural Aleppo, Homs and Damascus provinces and they have suffered substantial damage from the escalation in fighting, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.
"Many of these plants have now closed down as a result of the ongoing clashes and increased cost of fuel, resulting in a critical shortage of medicines," he told a UN briefing in Geneva.